A Horse Race in November that my Mum loved


Today is the day of the Melbourne Cup – known in Australia as the Race that stops a Nation.

It’s an odd thing here in Adelaide, because Melbourne Cup is not a public holiday for us, for all intents and purposes it is a normal working day.  However, it is more common than not that Businesses stop, that people attend Melbourne Cup lunches and that most people seem to participate in some form of betting on the Race.  Adelaide does stop for the Melbourne Cup, it’s very difficult to get business done around lunchtime on the First Tuesday in November.

melbourne cup

The 2014 Melbourne Cup has just concluded and Horse Number 5, Protectionist, ridden by Ryan Moore has won.  This doesn’t mean a whole lot to me and the only reason I know is because it was on the telly in the snack bar that I went to get my lunch from.  I actually watched the race this year!

I had a morning tea where I invited all my staff to come and join me and drink coffee/tea and eat cake, which is very unusual for us, but due to the fact that I am appreciative to all of my staff that our office doesn’t stop for the Race that Stops the Nation.

I was also very pleased when I called my number one client at midday and he too was at his desk working hard.

So, perhaps less people are involved in the celebration than I thought…..

Then I remembered, my Mum, Catherine Crout-Habel, whose blog this is, LOVED the Melbourne Cup.  Considering she was not much of a gambler, and especially considering how terrified of horses she was, the fact that she reveled in all things Melbourne Cup was extremely unusual.

She would pull out posters of the horses and review all of the Horses running and she would choose who she thought would take it out this year.  This was more often than not based on the number or the colour that the jockey was wearing, certainly nothing scientific, but she really did love it.

Sometimes she would place a bet, more often not, but she would ALWAYS watch the race, and she would delight in the beauty of the horses.  She would describe the horses and the way they majestically strode to the finish line.

I went back through old posts, old emails and old text messages as I was eating my lunch to find something that she had written about the Melbourne Cup to share and came up with nothing.  So, I decided it all had to come from me, my memory.

I remember she loved Makybe Diva – a horse that won the Melbourne Cup in 2003,2004 and 2005 – wow, I can’t believe that was so long ago!  This is Makybe Diva:

Makybe Diva

An interesting fact I’ve just discovered is that Protectionist who won today ran the race in 3.17.71, which is the fastest time since before Makybe Diva’s reign started.  Media Puzzle won in 2002 with a time of 3.16.97.

I was sad when I thought that this was the first Melbourne Cup that Mum wasn’t able to enjoy and decided I needed to put up a quick post so that everyone knew how much Mum loved the Melbourne Cup.

Now, I need to get back to the pile of work that I should be attacking ….


animated smiley face winking

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About kirra111

I am in my early 40's with a loving husband and a son. I came in to the blogging world recently when my much loved Mum (Catherine Crout-Habel) passed away. Genealogy and blogging became Mum's life in her later years when her body started failing her. Her blog is her legacy and I couldn't let it die with her.

16 thoughts on “A Horse Race in November that my Mum loved

  1. For once I’m not “on the same page” with Catherine….though if I had to choose a winner it would be by colour or number too:) If I hadn’t read the post I wouldn’t have a clue which horse won, let alone which others were running. But we’ve all learned Catherine loved the Melbourne Cup…who’d have thunk it.

  2. Wonderful. Especially as I was thinking just now about my family in Cairns watching the Melbourne Cup. Even my mother has a flutter on the Cup, and usually makes her selection on the basis of the colour of the Jockey’s shirt! I have yet to find out if she picked the winner this year! Lovely to think of Catherine’s enjoyment of the Cup. I also remember Makybie Diva

  3. Kirrily I wonder if it was a sort of family tradition that Catherine followed. It has been in my family in much the same way of admiring the beauty of the horses and just for the excitement of the day with a mock bet thrown in.

    • I think you might be right, I know my Nana (Mum’s Mum) did a similar thing, which I think came from Nana’s Mum – maybe not in relation to !elbourne Cup, but I heard stories of her horse and cart and how her horse had such spirit 😀

  4. We’re not gamblers either… I’ve had years of organising lunches, and fashion parades and all that goes with the Cup. I vowed and declared that I would never go to a Cup lunch again… Though I must admit, a few times I’ve won a sweep and a couple of times, I have picked a winner, by Catherine’s never fail scientific method, the colours I’ve liked, or maybe a name.
    So, maybe not entirely un Australian… so which race was this about again?

    • Ha, ha ha. I just heard that the horse that was the favourite collapsed and died after the race. How awful. Mum would have been heartbroken. 😓

  5. On the 2nd Sunday in Nov England has the Old Crocks Race ( Veteran cars not horses) they go from Hyde Park in London to Brighton which is 60 miles, some cars are over 100 years old and invariably break done several time on route, this year the weather was not good with a lot of rain and high winds, a lot of cars are open top too, but each year it takes place with people dressed in costume of the period of the cars. If you ever get a chance to watch the old film “Genevieve”it will give you an idea of the fun that is had taking part.
    Good to read your post and know a bit more about Catherine’s love of following the race.

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