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Turf Deli Spring Racing Carnival - Racing Royalty

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Racing Royalty

The loyal subjects of Flemington are in for a right royal treat this Melbourne Cup Day with a special guest appearance by Charles and Camilla.

Not quite sure who they are ?

Maybe they are Big Brother housemates ? Neighbours starlets ? Something like that anyway.

That's one giant step up for Cup Week away from the usual parade of Hollywood cross promoting tabloid starlets.

Camilla is going to present the trophy for the Melbourne Cup, whilst Charles gets to give out the trophy for the race after The Cup. The one that no-one even notices until they have jumped. Bit of a dud gig for the would be King.

As a special treat, all those loyal subjects who have been smart enough to take advantage of the great $200 Flemington season pass offer get to sit on Charles's lap, get their photo taken and tell him how much they would really, really, like a republic.

Seeing we are graced to have racing royalty in our presence, it might be a good time to take a look back over the Royal Ascot week back in June.

When Australians sat glued to the TV as BLACK CAVIAR took on the world, carrying the pride, hopes and dreams of Down Under - and thank goodness stumbled over the line. It was fascinating to watch the differences in racing between here and the UK, so let's see what ideas we can pinch from our feudal overlords for local racing to give Cup Week a bit more regal style and grace.

Royal Procession

The rich pageantry of the horse drawn royal procession down the straight was no doubt a highlight of the week at Ascot. But how to apply this to Melbourne Cup Day ? It is tough enough driving up Racecourse Road during Cup Week and getting through that nasty roundabout at the top of the course, let alone trying to navigate your way through heavy traffic with a parade of horse and carriages so that idea is out.

The local equivalent is definitely the train ride in from Flinders Street. So, what about decking the carriages in a regal red plush velvet, and signing up a swag of royals to drive the shuttle trains to and fro ? Kate, Will, Harry, Pippa, Beatrice - there should be enough royals hanging around to cover the frequent shuttle services. With trumpet fanfares at each station, and regal royal waves and toots as they ceremoniously embark towards Flemington.

Top Hats

We were really surprised back in June to be the only person down at the local TAB getting into the spirit of things by donning a fine custom made top hat. We think it might just be time for the VRC to step up and make the top hat compulsory on course. Punters will love it, it means there is somewhere extra to stuff all that Cup Week cash when your wallet will no longer bend to go back into your pocket. The added bonus here is for sponsorship opportunities. Why settle for that corporate logo cap hastily plonked on the winning trainer when you can sell so much more advertising space on a top hat ?

Queen's Hat Betting

Punters are always on the look out for exciting new betting opportunities - and the gimmicky the better. We can never, ever hear too much about the jockey challenge from the presenters on racing station TVN. Just imagine the exciting, minute by minute breathless updates we can have if we were allowed to bet on the colour of the Queen's Hat like they do in England. Of course, this would have to include the compulsory cross to everywhere man Tom Waterhouse for his expert commentary, and his weekly Ma'am's Best Refund if the hat is not beige.

Straight 1600M races

There is nothing better than the spectacle of 30 horses running down a 1600M straight race at Ascot. As opposed to local racing, like at Moonee Valley where 12 horses wait patiently in a queue to get around the home turn and then jog for a few strides before the finishing post. So why not extend the Flemington straight we say, go back up the steep driveway and give the horses a spectacular running down hill ramp lead in before exploding into the straight. Out of interest, how much does a 30 horse box trifecta cost anyway ?

Best of British

There were plenty of other great ideas at Ascot that local racing could pick up to add a bit of pageantry to Cup Week. We liked how the English horses politely curtsy before entering the barriers - so there is no need for barrier attendants. It was also quite handy that the jockeys were able to call for the cravat if they needed to make up weight when weighing out post race. However, we have to say we still prefer the modern professional ambulance to be following the field, rather than the horse and cart and the guy in stockings and a floppy hat ready with his emergency bag of leeches.

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