Having watched his father Jeff ride all his life, Zac Lloyd was well aware the riding caper is a tough business and by the close of his first day in the saddle on Friday, he had first-hand experience of his own.
Lloyd, 17, made the perfect start to his riding career when he landed the $1.30 favourite Satine a winner for his masters Toby and Trent Edmonds at Dalby in his very first ride in a race.
It was the first step in following the feats of his father, who rode successfully all around the world before rewriting the record books – after coming back from a stroke – in his final few years riding in Queensland before retiring in 2019.
“It’s just amazing. It’s been such a long time coming. I can’t thank Mr Edmonds and Trent enough for the ride they gave me today,” he told SKY Racing.
“Once she jumped and put herself there I knew she would be very hard to beat.”
As older brother Jaden, 18, went on to ride a winning double in what was his first Queensland wins after starting his career in Victoria, it seemed it was going to be a perfect day for the Lloyd family, with Jeff, Mum Nicola and sister Tayah all on course to mark the occasion.
But that changed when Zac ended up on his backside when he came off hot favourite Palicki, who jumped awkwardly, soon after the start in the last race on the card.
Fortunately, he escaped injury.
For Mum Nicola, the range of emotions she endured yesterday don’t come more extreme.
She understands the pressure on the boys given the record-breaking feats of their father and also feels an element of trepidation before every race, knowing the risks jockeys take each time they go to the barriers.
“My nerves are shot,” she said.
“I’ve aged 30 years. None of us will forget the day, that’s for sure.”
Nicola has watched Jaden ride since August last year and of course saw Jeff go to the races for decades, but the fears never go away.
“I’ve got better watching Jaden now, but trying to watch two people in a race, I was holding my breath,” she said.
“Of course I am proud (to see the boys ride three of the seven winners).
“It’s a lot of pressure for a 4kg apprentice to go to the races with your first ride (expected to win). People think it’s just a sit and steer, but it’s not that simple.”
“Having less boats certainly improves our odds,” Beck said. “But is a shame to not have people like Wild Oats in the race.
“They’re great people, with a great boat, and you get a lot of credibility if you actually beat them in a race.”
The Oatley family say they are “zero” chance to put in a late entry for Wild Oats XI, citing the impact of the pandemic on their employees as the reason for pulling out of the race.
Wild Oats XI was built in 2005 and has raced in each edition since.
“A gold medal is a gold medal and a Sydney to Hobart win is a Sydney to Hobart win,” Beck said, comparing his yacht to Bradbury’s famous Winter Olympic gold.
Eager to claim underdog status, Beck said Black Jack would be the boat to beat.
“It was always gonna be our best chance [to win this year] because we’ve been on a trajectory,” he said. “We were 24th three years ago, fourth and then second so we’re getting better all the time.
“But, I think if you were putting a bet on, I’d put a bet on them before us.”
For last year’s overall winner, Ichi Ban skipper Matt Allen, the race has hardly changed.
The majority of this year’s Tattersall Cup favourites have been unaffected by COVID-19, with 2018’s winner Alive looking to be Allen’s biggest competitor once again.
“They’ve been spending a lot of time getting their crew right and their gear right and they’ve probably closed in on us a bit in the sense that they’re kind of try and replicate us as much as they can,” he said. “There is some copying and pasting going on.”
Allen will be aiming for his third overall honours this year after wins in 2017 and 2019 and believes he would be able to create his own “little piece of history within the race” by taking out the honour in the COVID-19-affected race this year.
Only two other boats have managed to win the overall honours three times in the race’s history. The last back-to-back win was Freya, in 1963, 1964 and 1965.
“I don’t know whether anyone is ever gonna do a triple again but just to get back-to-back would be an incredible thing,” Allen said. “Obviously, it’s been a difficult winter break for everybody, people haven’t done as much sailing, as in previous years. There’s a lot of pressure on us.
“But it’s the dream that we all have.”
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Sarah is a journalist for The Sydney Morning Herald.
By: New York Times | Washington |
Updated: November 23, 2020 10:12:33 am
Moderna and Pfizer would pursue the mRNA vaccines, seen as the fastest to develop.(Representational Image)
Written by Sharon LaFraniere, Katie Thomas, Noah Weiland, David Gelles, Sheryl Gay Stolberg and Denise Grady
The call was tense, the message discouraging. Moncef Slaoui, the head of the Trump administration’s effort to quickly produce a vaccine for the coronavirus, was on the phone at 6 p.m. on Aug. 25 to tell upstart biotech firm Moderna that it had to slow the final stage of testing its vaccine in humans.
Moderna’s chief executive, Stéphane Bancel, a French biochemical engineer, recognized the implication. In the race to quell the pandemic, he said, “every day mattered.” Now his company, which had yet to bring a single product to market, faced a delay of up to three weeks. Pfizer, the global pharmaceutical giant that was busy testing a similar vaccine candidate and promising initial results by October, would take the obvious lead.
“It was the hardest decision I made this year,” Bancel said.
Moderna’s problem seemed fitting for late summer 2020, when the United States was reeling from not just a pandemic but unrest over racial injustice. Slaoui informed Bancel that Moderna had not recruited enough minority candidates into its vaccine trials. If it could not prove its vaccine worked well for Black and Hispanic Americans, who have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic, it would not make it over the finish line.
Both companies ultimately completed the crucial stages of their human trials this month and reported spectacular initial results, vaccines that appear to be about 95% effective against a virus that has killed 1.3 million people, a quarter million of them in the United States.
Few corporate competitions have unfolded with so much at stake and such a complex backdrop. At play were not just commercial rivalries and scientific challenges but an ambitious plan to put the federal government in the middle of the effort and, most vexingly, the often toxic political atmosphere created by President Donald Trump. Betting that a vaccine would secure his reelection, he waged both public and private campaigns to speed the process.
Pfizer’s chief executive, Dr. Albert Bourla, had vowed to avoid the political minefield but was forced to maneuver through it nonetheless. After promising progress on a timetable that seemed to support Trump’s prediction of a breakthrough before Election Day, Bourla pushed back the schedule in late October, fearing his firm’s clinical trial results would otherwise not be convincing enough for federal regulators to grant emergency approval of its vaccine. News of Pfizer’s success was announced just after the election was called for Joe Biden.
Bourla had chosen from the start to keep Pfizer and its research partner, German firm BioNTech, at arms length from the government, declining research and development money from the crash federal effort, called Operation Warp Speed.
Dr. Albert Bourla, CEO of Pfizer, in Scarsdale, N.Y., Oct. 20, 2020. The German company BioNTech, founded by two scientists, has partnered with Pfizer on a vaccine for the coronavirus that was found to be more than 90% effective. (Bryan Derballa/The New York Times)
Bancel, with a far smaller company, made the opposite bet, embracing the assistance of a government led by a science-denying president. Moderna got nearly $2.5 billion to develop, manufacture and sell its vaccine to the federal government and teamed up with the National Institutes of Health on the scientific work, a highly successful partnership that managed to sidestep the political meddling by Trump and his aides that had bedeviled other efforts to confront the virus.
Pfizer and Moderna alone would not meet domestic or global demand, but other companies in the United States and around the world are also rushing toward effective vaccines, some of them using more proven technologies, so other winners are likely to emerge.
Still, both companies, in their own very different ways, have pulled off a remarkable feat: developing a vaccine that appears safe and effective in a matter of months, rather than the years or decades that such developments usually take. They were aided by a confluence of three factors. A new method of developing vaccines was already waiting to be tested, with the coronavirus a perfect target. Sky-high infection rates accelerated the pace of clinical trials, the most time-consuming part of the process. And the government was willing to spend whatever it took, eliminating financial risks and bureaucratic roadblocks and allowing mass production to begin even before the trials were done.
Hitting the Ground Running
Bancel was in Switzerland for a business conference in January when he heard of a deadly new viral outbreak in Wuhan, China. He immediately reached out to two NIH vaccine experts with whom his company had been working for years to develop technology that could be used to design vaccines, a sort of plug-and-play system that would revolutionize how humanity confronts new pathogens.
If the systems worked, designing a vaccine would be done in days. The task remaining would include time-consuming trials to ensure the vaccine worked and was safe, a process that brooked no shortcuts.
The method employs a synthetic form of a genetic molecule called messenger RNA, or mRNA, to cause human cells to make a harmless viral protein called a spike, which then stimulates the immune system to make antibodies and immune cells that can recognize the spike quickly and counterattack when needed.
Bancel, 48, had what one former colleague described as a “warrior personality.” He had left a much bigger firm to become chief executive at Moderna in 2011, warning his wife that the firm’s mRNA bet had a 5% chance of success. But if that bet paid off, he told her, it would change the course of medicine.
In late 2019, he said, the Vaccine Research Center at NIH agreed to stage a war game of sorts the following spring, a mock pandemic with a virus unknown to Moderna to see how quickly the company could come up with a vaccine.
Now, with an actual pandemic at hand, Bancel wanted to try out Moderna’s approach for real.
NIH got in with them. Dr. John R. Mascola, the head of the Vaccine Research Center, and Dr. Barney Graham, the center’s deputy director, proposed the partnership to Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
“Go for it,” Fauci said he told them. “Whatever it costs, don’t worry about it.”
In Germany, husband-and-wife scientists Dr. Ugur Sahin and Dr. Özlem Türeci were on the same path. Their firm, BioNTech, had been working with Pfizer for several years to develop a new flu vaccine with the same mRNA technology that Moderna was using. Sahin said he asked a Pfizer executive on March 1 if the company wanted to chase a coronavirus vaccine.
Bourla had worked his way up over more than two decades from Pfizer’s animal health division to the chief executive’s office in 2019. Initially, the 59-year-old executive was mostly focused on protecting the company’s 90,000 employees in locations around the world.
But once he learned of the Germans’ proposal, he and his company moved quickly.
Operation Warp Speed
As the economy shuddered to a halt last spring and deaths mounted in New York, Detroit and Chicago, administration officials proposed a coordinated effort to develop tests, treatments and vaccines for what was now clearly the gravest public health crisis in a century.
Operation Warp Speed was the brainchild of Dr. Peter Marks, the top vaccine regulator for the Food and Drug Administration. A collaboration between the Pentagon and the Department of Health and Human Services, it was devised to support pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies with the full breadth of the government’s expertise from clinical trials to logistics. The goal for a vaccine was October, according to an early memo.
Warp Speed had two leaders. In charge of science was Slaoui, who had led research and development at drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline for years and had served on Moderna’s board of directors. In charge of logistics was Gen. Gustave F. Perna, a four-star general who led the Army Materiel Command.
The biggest decision, Slaoui said, was which vaccine candidates to back out of almost 50 possible contenders. His team decided on three types of vaccines, each to be pursued by two companies in case one firm failed.
Moderna and Pfizer would pursue the mRNA vaccines, seen as the fastest to develop. The government was ready to foot much of the development bill, guide the clinical trials and even deliver supplies to factories.
Bourla was not interested. As one of the world’s top vaccine producers, Pfizer did not need federal help in developing a new product, he decided, and with nearly $52 billion in annual revenues, it did not need or want the subsidy.
Moderna had no qualms about government help. “Guys, we don’t have a balance sheet like Pfizer,” Bancel said he told federal officials.
‘We Needed to Speak Up’
By early fall, political pressures that had been building all year burst into the open. Federal regulators were trying to issue guidelines to ensure enough follow-up of clinical trial participants to make sure the vaccines were safe, but White House officials were blocking them. The president was attacking FDA officials as antagonists intent on thwarting his reelection.
Bourla had been dragged into the political thicket, in part because of his own promises that Pfizer expected clinical trial results by October. The president ballyhooed that deadline on the campaign trail and tried to publicly link himself to Pfizer’s leader.
Sahin, of BioNTech and Pfizer’s partner, said Bourla was trying to manage “an uncomfortable situation.” But when the president went after the FDA, Bourla drew a line, deciding that public confidence in a vaccine was at stake. “We had statements against the FDA, the deep state, et cetera, that really were concerning for me,” he said. “We needed to speak up.”
He called Alex Gorsky, the chief executive of Johnson & Johnson, another leading contender in the vaccine race, then recruited leaders from other companies. Together, they drafted a statement that said the industry would “stand with science” and follow FDA guidelines. By Sept. 8, nine companies, including Moderna, had signed on.
At the same time, hitches in the design and execution of the clinical trials were emerging. Both Pfizer and Moderna were facing the problem of too few minority volunteers, but Pfizer had the deep pockets to solve it.
Fauci met with Moderna’s trial investigators and enlisted NIH experts to help the company reach more Black and Hispanic volunteers. Pfizer, whose trial was already designed to reach a result quicker than Moderna’s, was now indisputably ahead.
On Sunday morning, Nov. 8, Bourla headed to Pfizer’s office in Cos Cob, Connecticut, to hear the verdict with a few top aides. “I couldn’t sleep very much,” he said.
A Pfizer statistician, who was walled off from the rest of the company, was to deliver the news from the data monitoring board in a video conference.
“We had a very good result,” the man announced in the early afternoon. He said Pfizer should immediately ask the FDA to grant it emergency use authorization, a step the firm took Friday.
The room erupted in cheers. Executives hugged, ignoring social distancing rules.
Moderna had to watch Pfizer cross the finish line first. But Pfizer’s results buoyed the company’s hopes.
Last Sunday, expecting the results from Moderna’s trial, Bancel closeted himself in a home office in his Boston town house.
Just after noon, a notice shot across Moderna’s secure chat system to join a virtual meeting. With about a dozen other members, Bancel listened to the flat, disembodied voice of a representative from the outside panel.
The results were remarkably like Pfizer’s: Out of 95 infections, 90 were in the placebo group and five in the vaccine group.
Then the outside panel broke down the cases by severity of illness, a critical measure of the vaccine’s potency.
Eleven volunteers had developed severe illness, the voice said. Then came a pause that Bancel said “felt like forever,” before the final word: Every one of them had gotten the placebo.
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Global pharmaceutical company Janssen is beginning clinical trials of a potential COVID-19 vaccine in the UK.
Around the country, 6,000 volunteers are taking part in phase-three trials of the COVID-19 vaccine at 17 National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) sites, including in Southampton, Bristol, Cardiff, London, Leicester, Sheffield, Manchester, Dundee and Belfast.
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Good news on a coronavirus vaccine
It is the third potential coronavirus vaccine to enter clinical trials in the UK, alongside US biotech company Novavax and University of Oxford/AstraZeneca whose studies are currently ongoing.
The start of the trial comes a week after the breakthrough announced by Pfizer and BioNtech that early results show their vaccine is more than 90% effective.
Professor Saul Faust, director of the NIHR Southampton Clinical Research Facility and chief investigator for the Janssen phase-three trial, told Sky News: “The Janssen vaccine is very similar to the Oxford/Astra Zeneca vaccine in that it’s an adapted cold virus that can’t replicate in the body and can’t give us a cold and can’t give us coronavirus but it shows the body’s immune system the spike protein to let us make immune responses to it.
“The Pfizer announcement last week was really exciting because we didn’t know until last week that a vaccine will be able to stop coronavirus at all.
“All the companies are making vaccines against the spike protein so we’re really hopeful that the vaccines will all work to a greater or lesser extent and it’s really important that we have a number of different vaccines from a number of different companies because we have no idea whether one vaccine will work in all age groups or across all populations and we’ve no idea really whether the vaccine supply will be able to come from one company the whole time and supply the entire world.”
Business Secretary Alok Sharma said: “The start of further clinical trials in the UK is yet another step forward in the race to discover a safe and effective vaccine, and comes alongside recent news that we could be on the cusp of the first major breakthrough since the pandemic began.
“While we are optimistic with the progress being made, there are no guarantees and it is possible there will be no one-size-fits-all vaccine. That is why it is absolutely vital that while our scientists are cracking on with the job, we continue to follow the guidance to control the virus, protect the NHS and save lives.”
Meanwhile, the Labour leader has called on the prime minister to publish a comprehensive national action plan for rolling out a future coronavirus vaccine “that harnesses all of the talents of the British people”.
In a letter to Boris Johnson, Sir Keir Starmer has written: “The challenge facing the country now is not just how we get control of the virus, but how we get ready for the vaccine.
“We are world leaders in vaccines and I believe we should be aiming for a world class programme for rolling it out. However, this will be a mammoth logistical operation, probably larger than we have seen since the Second World War. If we are to get it right, then we must have a clear plan in place now.”
Professor Martin McKee from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine is a member of Independent SAGE and among the scientists warning that the roll-out of a vaccine may not be the silver bullet people are hoping for.
“We need to recognise that on their own they’re not going to solve the problem.
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Will ethnicity be a factor in COVID vaccinations?
“We need to have them as part of an integrated strategy that includes a really good test and trace and isolate system for quite some time yet, we’re going to have to maintain many of the social distancing measures that we have until everybody is vaccinated, until we’ve really got this under control.
“So they’re an important element, but we shouldn’t put all our eggs in one basket.
“We also have to recognise that there will be some vaccine hesitancy as well.”
Over 300,000 people have signed up to the NHS Vaccines Registry to take part in coronavirus vaccine studies.
The NHS vaccine registry particularly needs volunteers who are most vulnerable to the effects of coronavirus, including frontline health and social care workers and people from Black, Asian and ethnic minority backgrounds.
Dr Vanessa Apea, Black, Asian and minority ethnic clinical champion at NIHR Clinical Research Network North Thames, said: “COVID-19 still poses a significant threat to our health and our communities and many of us are still vulnerable to it. One of the ways we can reduce the threat and impact of this disease is a vaccine.
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COVID-19 vaccine: Will it end the crisis?
“The topic of vaccines divides communities. For many, and in particular, Black, Asian and ethnic minority communities, the word vaccine generates a lot of anxiety, rooted in mistrust, which can understandably lead to reluctance in taking part in a trial.
“We know that these communities are disproportionately affected by COVID-19 and this makes it even more important that any outcomes from research, including new treatments and ways to prevent the disease, work for all communities.
“Only by doing this can we truly take control of COVID-19, so we really need people from Black, Asian and ethnic minority communities to sign up to learn more and be part of research.
“Entering a clinical trial or receiving a vaccine is entirely a personal choice and should always be supported by accurate information.”
Washington: Fervent supporters of President Donald Trump rallied in Washington on Saturday behind his spurious claim of a stolen election and swarmed his motorcade when he detoured for a drive-by on his way out of town.
“I just want to keep up his spirits and let him know we support him,” one loyalist, Anthony Whittaker of Winchester, Virginia, said from outside the Supreme Court, where a few thousand assembled after a march along Pennsylvania Avenue from Freedom Plaza, near the White House.
A week after Democrat Joe Biden was declared the winner of the election, demonstrations in support of Trump took place in other cities.
Fury at the prospect of a transfer of executive power showed no signs of abating, taking a cue the president’s unrelenting assertion of victory in a race he actually lost.
A broad coalition of top government and industry officials has declared that the Nov. 3 voting and the following count unfolded smoothly with no more than the usual minor hiccups the most secure in American history, they said, repudiating Trump’s efforts to undermine the integrity of the contest.
In Delray Beach, Florida, several hundred people marched, some carrying signs reading Count every vote and We cannot live under a Marxist government.
In Lansing, Michigan, protesters gathered at the Capitol to hear speakers cast doubt on results that showed Biden winning the state by more than 140,000 votes.
Phoenix police estimated 1,500 people gathered outside the Arizona Capitol to protest Biden’s narrow victory in the state.
The crowd in Washington was beginning to gather Saturday morning when cheers rang out as Trump’s limousine neared Freedom Plaza.
People lined both sides of the street, some standing just a few feet away from Trump’s vehicle. Others showed their enthusiasm by running along with the caravan.
They chanted USA, USA and four more years, and many carried American flags and signs to show their displeasure with the vote tally. After making the short detour for the slow drive around the site, the motorcade headed to the president’s Virginia golf club.
Among the speakers was a Georgia Republican newly elected to the U.S. House. Marjorie Taylor Greene, who has expressed racist views and support for QAnon conspiracy theories, urged people to march peacefully toward the Supreme Court.
The marchers included members of the Proud Boys, a neo-fascist group known for street brawling with ideological opponents at political rallies.
The march was largely peaceful during the day, with some tension along the margins as counterdemonstrators heckled the Trump supporters with chants of You lost!
By the late afternoon, a few hundred anti-Trump demonstrators engaged in shouting matches with scattered groups of Trump supporters. One group of Trump supporters were hit with eggs and one person lost his red MAGA hat, which was set on fire to cheers.
Multiple police lines blocked Trump supporters from entering the Black Lives Matter Plaza area as night fell. Those who managed to get inside the area were doused with water and saw their MAGA hats and pro-Trump flags snatched.
Some demonstrators and counterdemonstrators traded shoves, punches and slaps. A man with a bullhorn yelling Get out of here! was shoved and pushed to the street by a man who was then surrounded by several people and shoved and punched until he was knocked unconscious onto the street. Bloody and dazed, he was taken to a police officer.
The Million MAGA March was heavily promoted on social media, raising concerns that it could spark conflict with anti-Trump demonstrators, who have gathered near the White House in Black Lives Matter Plaza for weeks.
In preparation, police closed off wide swaths of downtown, where many stores and offices have been boarded up since Election Day. Chris Rodriguez, director of the city’s Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency, said the police were experienced at keeping the peace.
The issues that Trump’s campaign and its allies have pointed to are typical in every election: problems with signatures, secrecy envelopes and postal marks on mail-in ballots, as well as the potential for a small number of ballots miscast or lost. With Biden leading Trump by wide margins in key battleground states, none of those issues would have any impact on the outcome of the election.
Trump’s campaign has also filed legal challenges complaining that their poll watchers were unable to scrutinize the voting process. Many of those challenges have been tossed out by judges, some within hours of their filing.
A former administration official, Sebastian Gorka, whipped up the crowd by the Supreme Court by saying, We can win because he did win. But, he added, It’s going to be tough.
Results in Arizona hinged on Maricopa County, the fourth most-populous county in the nation with 4.5 million residents, including 1.4 million Hispanics.
The county voted narrowly for Donald Trump in 2016. But its demographics and politics have shifted in the past four years. Mr Biden was leading Mr Trump 49 per cent to 47 per cent in Arizona in a Reuters Ipsos poll conducted on October 27-Nov 1.
Arizona’s 11 electoral votes could be key to Mr Biden’s path to victory, and Democratic strategists hoped a higher Latino turnout would help shift the state in his favour.
Maricopans participated in early voting in record numbers. Before the election, the county had processed 1.66 million ballots, surpassing the 1.6 million total cast in the 2016 election, said Megan Gilbertson, communications director for the Maricopa County Elections Department.
While Maricopa gave most of its votes to Mr Trump in 2016, it ejected Republican Sheriff Joe Arpaio, an immigration hardliner whom Mr Trump pardoned for ignoring a court order to stop racially profiling Latinos. The county has since helped elect people like Krysten Sinema, the first Democratic Arizona senator in three decades, to national office.
The race that stops the nation, the Melbourne Cup, is almost upon us again.
While this year’s race will be like no other with crowds barred from attending, on the track it’ll be the same exciting story; a field of 24 international and local horses racing over 3200m for a whopping $8 million in prizemoney.
Here are the key things you need to know ahead of the 160th running of the great race.
WHEN IS IT ON?
As always, the first Tuesday in November — this year falling on the 3rd. This year’s race will start at 3pm AEDT.
Watch the Melbourne Cup LIVE on Racing.com, available on Kayo. New to Kayo? Get your 14-day free trial & start streaming instantly >
ESSENTIAL MELBOURNE CUP READING
LIVE COVERAGE: FOLLOW CUP DAY HERE
COREY BROWN’S MELBOURNE CUP CHEAT SHEET: TWO-TIME WINNER’S ULTIMATE FORM GUIDE
MEGA FORM GUIDE: EVERY RUNNER ANALYSED AND TIPS
WHERE ARE THEY NOW? WHAT HAPPENED TO THE PAST 20 MELBOURNE CUP WINNERS
Best Cup lead-up runs
INSIDE WORD: WHAT KEY INSIDERS ARE SAYING ABOUT THEIR HORSE BEFORE THE MELBOURNE CUP
SWEEP GENERATOR: FREE TOOL TO RUN YOUR OFFICE SWEEPS
DUMMIES’ GUIDE TO BETTING ON THE MELBOURNE CUP
WEATHER: LATEST FORECAST AND HOW IT SHOULD IMPACT YOUR PICK TO WIN
START TIME: WHAT TIME RACE IS IN YOUR CITY, FULL FLEMINGTON CARD
FOX SPORTS’ SPRING CARNIVAL HOMEPAGE
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WHO IS IN THE FIELD?
The field was finalised on Saturday with import Ashrun sealing a spot in the field by taking out a thrilling finish in the Lexus Hotham Stakes at Flemington on Saturday. However some of the barriers have changed after the late scratching of King of Leogrance on Tuesday morning.
FIELD (trainer, jockey, weight) with latest barriers
1. ANTHONY VAN DYCK (IRE), Aidan O’Brien, Hugh Bowman, 58.5kg – barrier 3
2. AVILIUS (GB), James Cummings, John Allen, 57kg – barrier 10
3. VOW AND DECLARE, Danny O’Brien, Jamie Mott, 57kg – barrier 4
4. MASTER OF REALITY (IRE), Joseph O’Brien, Ben Melham, 56kg – barrier 11
5. SIR DRAGONET (IRE), Ciaron Maher & David Eustace, Glen Boss, 55.5kg barrier 14
Danny O’Brien-trained Vow And Declare held off the international challenge to win a thrilling edition of the race.
There was drama after the race as the final placings were placings were changed after the first protest in the race since 1991 was upheld. Irish stayer Master Of Reality crossed the line second but was bumped down to fourth and Il Paradiso moved up to third behind second-placed Prince of Arran.
WHO ARE THE FAVOURITES THIS YEAR?
Tiger Moth has now soared into favouritism despite initially blowing out from $6.50 to $9 after the barrier draw was unveiled, taking out gate 23.
Now though a renewed surge from punters has seen him come in to be the clear favourite back at $6.50 to take out the race.
Tiger Moth is considered the only one international in this year’s field that has a similar profile to previous winners Rekindling and Cross Counter.
He is also right where he needs to be weight-wise at 52.5 kilograms given that the past five Cup winners have all carried between 51kg and 53kg).
His light weight will also work in his favour when it comes to getting past the awful barrier draw and manoeuvring his way through to get a spot.
Here are the leaders in the current betting market, via Bet365
The prize for winning first place in the 2020 Melbourne Cup is $4,400,000 in cash.
The winner also receives $250,000 dollars in trophies, including the famous winning trophy for the owner, a trophy (including the Harry White whip) to the winning jockey, one to the winning trainer, another to the strapper (the Tommy Woodcock Trophy) and finally a trophy to the breeder.
The 2020 Melbourne Cup will offer the biggest purse in history with Racing Victoria raising the purse to $8 million in prize money. Lexus is the major sponsor of this year’s Cup. Prior to this year’s increase in July the Melbourne Cup was worth $7.3 million. This purse will maintain the Melbourne Cup’s status as the world’s richest handicap race.
To put it in perspective, there are currently only four horse races offering more prize money than the Melbourne Cup: the Pegasus World Cup (US$12) held on dirt at Gulfstream Park; the Dubai World Cup (US$10m) held on the synthetic track at Meydan; the Everest (A$12) held at Randwick on turf; and the Japan Cup (A$6.8), which is also held on turf.
Last year’s $4.4 million dollar prize was secured by the owners of the Danny O’Brien-trained Vow And Declare, who stormed home to win the race that stops a nation under Craig Williams.
How much does the winner of the Melbourne Cup get?
The winner of the Melbourne Cup receives a staggering $4.4 million dollars in prize money. So in other words, a hell of a lot!
How much prize money does the jockey get for winning the Melbourne Cup?
Jockeys are entitled to 5% of the prize money earned and will usually also receive a small amount for booking the ride. That will be $220,000 in 2020. The winning jockey is entitled to 5% of the prize money earned. So the 2018 Melbourne Cup winning jockey Kerrin McEvoy earned $200,000 for steering Cross Counter home. They will also receive a payment in keeping with their riding fee, a considerably smaller amount than the winner’s cheque but still a handy sum if you consider the time they spend on top of the horse.
How much prize money does the winning trainer receive?
Trainers are entitled to 10% of prize monies earned in each race. So the 2020 Melbourne Cup-winning trainer receives a handsome $440,000 in prize money for their part in getting the horse over the line first.
How much do the winning connections receive?
Connections of the 2020 Melbourne Cup winning horse will receive 85% of the $4.4 million dollars awarded to the Cup winner. That means they will earn a whopping $3,740,000 for their horse’s troubles; a tidy sum indeed!
How Does Melbourne Cup Compare With Other Australian Group Ones?
The prize money of the Melbourne Cup is quite extraordinary when compared with other Australian Group Ones. Consider this: the $1,100,000 awarded to the Melbourne Cup runner-up is larger than the combined purse of two other significant Australian Group 1 races in the Golden Rose and Crown Oaks. Check out the prizemoney comparison detailed in the below table but please note that some of these figures have been adjusted in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic:
Group One Races – Prize Money
Queen Elizabeth Stakes – $4 million
Golden Slipper – $3.5 million
Cox Plate – $5 million
Caulfield Cup – $5 million
The BMW – $1.5 million
Doncaster Mile – $3 million
Victoria Derby – $2 million
Australian Derby – $2 million
Golden Rose – $1 million
Mackinnon Stakes – $2 million
Caulfield Guineas – $2 million
TJ Smith Stakes – $2.5 million
Stradbroke Handicap – $1.5 million
Newmarket Handicap – $1.25 million
Australian Cup – $1.5 million
Blue Diamond Stakes – $1.5 million
Emirates Stakes – $2 million
Darley Classic – $2 million
Crown Oaks – $1 million
Perfect conditions for Cup
Melbourne Cup Trophy
The 18-carat gold Melbourne Cup trophy, nicknamed the ‘Loving Cup’ because of its handmade design, is awarded to the winning horse’s owner. The winning trainer and jockey are each awarded a miniature version of the trophy, and the strapper receives the Tommy Woodcock, which is named on behalf of Phar Lap’s attendant.
Melbourne Cup trophy: $150,000.
Trainer & Jockey miniatures: $10,000 trophy.
Strapper’s trophy: $5,000.
A new trophy is crafted each year, and a second identical trophy is also present should the race ever end in a dead-heat. This isn’t as far-fetched as it sounds with two out of the last eight cups being decided by a hair’s breadth: 2008 when Viewed pipped Bauer; and 2011 when Dunaden just nosed out Red Cadeaux.
Australia vs. The World – Prize Money Comparisons
When comparing total racing prize money, Australia is surpassed only by the United States and Japan, which is quite remarkable considering both countries have significantly larger populations and Gross Domestic Product.
Our lucrative prize money is just one of many reasons why the Melbourne Cup is an increasingly attractive prospect and destination for the international racing community. This fact is evidenced in the results of recent years with the internationals enjoying a lot of success in the Melbourne Cup and other key Spring features.