Melbourne Cup runners boasting a Bundaberg connection have had freakish success over the past couple of years and a local couple will be hoping this continues.
Brad and Janice Harvey are part-owners of Melbourne Cup hopeful Russian Camelot, which at one stage was early favourite for the $7.5 million race.
Should Russian Camelot win Tuesday’s nation-stopping horse race it will enable the Harveys to share the same thrill experienced by the Lanskey family last year with Vow and Declare, and Bruce Dalton’s delight with the 100-1 shot Prince of Penzance in 2015.
The Harveys hold a small financial interest in the horse, being a part of the Queensland Cup Colts syndicate, a group of 10 couples holding a 10 per cent share.
Brad and Janice will be in Brisbane at Eagle Farm Racecourse to watch the race with fellow shareholders.
“It is disappointing that we cannot be at Flemington for what potentially is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see a horse in which we have an interest run in Australia’s greatest race,” Brad said.
“This will be the first time he has started when he is not favourite.
“His last run in the Cox Plate when third behind Sir Dragonet was good with a wide barrier a contributing factor on that occasion.”
Brad admitted to being very enthusiastic when watching the horse race.
“I can give a bit of a cooee and I advise people not to stand too close when the whips are cracking,” he laughed.
“It would be great to add to that string of results Bundaberg connections have had with Melbourne Cup winners so here’s hoping,” he said.
Four runners for Danny O’Brien
Russian Camelot is trained by Victorian trainer Danny O’Brien who has four runners in the Cup including last year’s winner Vow and Declare.
Vow and Declare is currently quoted at more than 40/1 with experts considering the horse harshly handicapped, rising to 57kg in weight this year compared to its winning weight of 52kg last year.
The Melbourne Cup remains a mystery for many once-a-year punters with colours, numbers and names often the motivation for outlaying their cash in a bet.
Those looking for an omen bet may consider King of Leogrance, trained by Danny O’Brien, which will jump from barrier 18, the only barrier never to produce a winner since barriers came into use in the Cup in 1924.
Five other barriers – 6,12,15,23 and 24 – have not produced a winning runner since 1983.
It's highly likely the name O’Brien will feature in the Melbourne Cup placings. Joining Australia’s Danny O’Brien are Irish trainers Aiden and Joseph O’Brien and the trio have eight runners between them with Aiden O’Brien saddling up the highly fancied Anthony Van Dyck and Tiger Moth.
Locally the Bundaberg Race Club is hosting a sold-out ticketed event while pubs and clubs across the region will cater to an influx of patrons looking to enjoy the social atmosphere the Melbourne Cup generates.