"I guess the biggest difference between then and now is that racing crowds in those days were largely outdoors, whereas these days there's a huge emphasis on indoor entertainment and dining. Bobby Lewis, the Cup-winning jockey of 1919. They didn't talk about social distance then. The race that stops a nation has, crucially, never been stopped in its tracks. You don't want this to be the year when you miss out on having the race. ", Efficient won the 2007 Melbourne Cup.Credit:Wayne Taylor, Andrew Eddy reported in The Age on the victory of Efficient, majority owned by Lloyd Williams: "It was supposed to be the devalued Cup. Enjoy a day of bubbles, beers, and betting on Tuesday 3rd November 2020. The VRC and its chairman Amanda Elliott have already explained their determination that the race was always going to be run and it wouldn't deviate from the first Tuesday in November. Efficient became the first Victoria Derby winner to return 12 months later and win a Melbourne Cup since Phar Lap in 1929-30.". “I’m happy to take it because I don’t think we have had this quality of Australian-trained horses in the race for a long time. For a sport that constantly deals with the vagaries and importance of quarantine, it must be remembered that circumstances surrounding the Cup in modern times – the equine influenza outbreak in 2007 – represented arguably one of its greatest ever threats. "The one they have really come for since the final field was declared is Twilight Payment. Racing was suspended in both Sydney and Melbourne. In some respects the Victoria Racing Club "got lucky" with timing 101 years ago as the pandemic suddenly ceased being a threat. One of the strongest fields in recent memory is set for the running of the 2020 Melbourne Cup on Tuesday, November 3 at Flemington racecourse. "By the second half of the year the worst of the pandemic seemed to be over. Melbourne Cup 2020: Bookmakers at odds over favourites in wide-open race Seated, share style lunch inspired by the tastes of Italy Ironically, the international runners which travelled directly to Melbourne weren't the worry. You feel a sense of responsibility. Sign up to the Herald's weekday newsletter here and The Age's weekly newsletter here. The 2020 Melbourne Cup runs on Tuesday November 3, 2020 at 3pm local time as Flemington Race 7. The number of the Cup crowd at Flemington never has been known, for the Cup crowd goes to the course by many avenues, and, apart from the section that goes by rail, a count is impossible.". "The Sydney races were particularly affected that year ... the Sydney Cup had to be postponed for several weeks. "[There were] a couple of references to the odd jockey who was suffering from flu, or a few deaths, but basically by the time Artilleryman won the Melbourne Cup in 1919 they reckon there was a record crowd there.". "Surprise Baby was definitely the most popular in the all-in markets and we expect a lot of the late money to come for him again. “Verry Elleegant was very strong at the end of the Caulfield Cup when she won and I have no doubt she can do it again. "In February the big autumn race meetings in Melbourne were postponed for several weeks. He also won the race in 1902, 1915 and 1927.Credit:Archives. Racing historian Dr Andrew Lemon explains that 101 years ago, there seemed to be a bit of "pent-up relief" for Melburnians after a year of living through the Spanish flu as thousands flocked to Flemington, with some estimates of around 110,000 spectators to watch Artilleryman win in "record time". In 2020, less than a week before the race, the VRC continues with preparations for the entire Melbourne Cup carnival, but with the certain knowledge that Flemington will be vastly different. So in Melbourne, life really went back to normal," Lemon says. With an iconic spot on the calendar that has historical links to the 1870s, the 159-year-old Melbourne Cup has prevailed through two World Wars and seen off at least one other public health crisis. "Late January there [were] suddenly drastic precautions taking place in Sydney, where they do things like close racecourses, and they start suggesting people should wear masks. Check out this list of the best events that Brisbane has to offer! "Of the internationals, Tiger Moth and Anthony Van Dyck have been well backed and equate for 15 per cent and 13 per cent of the total hold respectively.”. Crowd numbers when they did eventually run were significantly down.". Future generations, however, won't see an asterisk next to 2020 as they scroll through the winners, from Archer in 1861, to Phar Lap and the likes of Think Big. Brisbane's ultimate Melbourne Cup 2020 guide for things to do this Melbourne Cup Day? Bobby Lewis, the Cup-winning jockey of 1919. Sports news, results and expert commentary delivered straight to your inbox. But yesterday at Flemington, the Melbourne Cup rose above the flu outbreak and delivered a winner the history books could not reject. This year's famous 3200-metre handicap race at Flemington – officially to be run with the backdrop of COVID-19 hovering over the city and without crowds – represents new territory for Melbourne and the Victoria Racing Club. Bluebet’s Michael Sullivan was bracing for a flood of money for the Irish raiders Anthony Van Dyck and Tiger Moth on Tuesday but believes the Cup could stay in local hands. "Horses were the problem on that occasion and that was a very infectious disease.". "We started with Anthony Van Dyck as our favourite after the barrier draw on Saturday, but [on Monday] there was good money for Surprise Baby and then a push for Tiger Moth that made it favourite. “It is a strange Melbourne Cup in that I can’t tell you what will start favourite because there are seven horses between $7 and $13 with us and any one of them could start favourite by race time,” Top Sport’s Tristen Merlehan said. How The Age reported the race.Credit:Archives, "I'm sure that if there were no restrictions on the Melbourne Cup this year – if people were told they were allowed to go and they'd been locked up all this time – there would probably be a really big crowd there if the weather was right.".