Articles on Melbourne Cup

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Finding the right balance in feeding a racehorse. Cheryl Ann Quigley/Shutterstock.com

How to feed a racehorse and keep him healthy

As we celebrate the Melbourne Cup today, it's worth taking a look at the way we nourish our champions of the turf.
Whipping race horses inflicts pain but is exempt from animal welfare laws. Yet research suggests it does not increase their pace at the finish. Amethyst Photography

Cup Week leaves racing law looking like a prize-winning ass

Beating and overriding a horse is deemed cruel under Victoria’s Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986. You would never guess that from a day at the races, including Melbourne’s Spring Racing Carnival…
Admire Rakti finished the race last, but died in his stall soon afterwards. AAP/Tracey Nearmy

Sudden deaths are rare in racing despite the Melbourne Cup tragedy

The tragic deaths of the favourite Admire Rakti and seventh placegetter Araldo soon after the Melbourne Cup has focused attention on some of the risks involved in racing horses. The Japanese horse Admire…
The unicorn is an icon of our contemporary love affair with escapism. Rob Boudon

Would you whip a unicorn? The Melbourne Cup and imagination

This is not an article about unicorns or virgins, but about the power of imagination, both wonderful and terrible. As an academic and equine artist I work between creative imagination and scientific epistemology…
Damien Oliver (left) rides Fiorente to victory in Race 7 the Emirates Melbourne Cup at the 2013 Melbourne Cup. AAP Image/Hamish Blair

Do historical trends in Melbourne Cup champions point to a winner?

If you’re looking for a definitive answer on who will win the Melbourne Cup – the world’s most prestigious two-mile handicap – I’m afraid I’m going to leave you sorely disappointed. What I can offer is…
Trainer Gai Waterhouse with 2013 Melbourne Cup winning horse Fiorente. AAP/Julian Smith

Horses for courses: the science behind Melbourne Cup winners

It’s the race that stops a nation … and is worth a cool A$6.2 million. So what goes into the raceday preparation for the equine stars of the show? Thoroughbred racehorses have unique anatomy and physiology…
Study the form guide all you like – on big race days, your money’s probably safer in your pocket. AAP/Joe Castro

How betting works – and why the Melbourne Cup skews the odds

Australia’s iconic sporting event – the Melbourne Cup – will see more than 100,000 punters pack into Flemington Racecourse this Tuesday, while those at work around the country pause to tune in to The Race…
A galloping horse puts four tonnes of pressure on lower limb joints with each stride. AAP/Hamish Blair

How trainers keep horses in winning form – and injury-free

In elite racehorses, biology is pushed to the limit – about four tonnes is placed on the joint surfaces in a galloping horse’s lower limb with every stride, and these repeated loads have the potential…
How much of Black Caviar’s racing prowess will be passed to her foal? AAP/Georgina Lomax

How to hit the genetic jackpot and breed a Melbourne Cup winner

The win of Japanese stayer Admire Rakti in the Caulfield Cup, followed by Irish bred colt Adelaide‘s win in the Cox Plate last Saturday, has brought into question the stamina (staying) credentials of Australian…
Today horses are still whipped in public, but only in the name of sport. AAP Image/Julian Smith

Whips hurt horses – if my leg’s anything to go by

It’s not just the horses that wear blinkers during the Melbourne Cup, the so-called “race that stops a nation”, which takes place next Tuesday. Perhaps it’s the excitement, the champagne or the extraordinary…
Punters line up every year to bet on the Melbourne Cup, but why do we overstate our odds? Dean Lewins/AAP

For this year’s Melbourne Cup, consider a charity rather than taking on Tom Waterhouse

In the lead-up to next week’s Melbourne Cup, bookmaker Tom Waterhouse is heavily marketing a “$25 million bet that stops a nation”. All you have to do is give him A$10 and if you place the first 10 horses…
Gai Waterhouse wants everyday punters to ‘live the dream’. Marianna Massey/AAP

Gai Waterhouse’s ‘Living the Dream’ is gambling writ large

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be the part owner of a Melbourne Cup winner? Horse trainer Gai Waterhouse says you could be, by investing in a new company called “Gai Live the Dream” (GLD). The “live the dream…

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