I can't say I've thought much about it in the past. I had no idea of the huge numbers of horses being bred for racing purposes and fail to ever run a race. I suppose I thought there was a rather limited number of race horses and it wouldn't be hard to retire them to life on a property somewhere.
Not so. Many many horses are killed after their racing careers have ended and most who don't succeed in racing at all are too. It seems such a waste.
I don't have a problem with animals being humanely killed for meat consumption and so my argument is that if this is to continue, there must never be scenes again as was shown. I can't see any real distinction between a winning horse or one that is useless at racing, but perhaps it is like being attached to pet. God knows what happens in some countries where race horses are bred.
This is purely anecdotal and just a feeling I have. Something has changed in Melbourne on this Cup Day holiday. We did end up placing bets and when I collected the blank tickets to mark, there was one person in the TAB (betting shop). We returned with our tickets to lodge our bets and there was one person in the TAB. This is unheard of. One more arrived as we left.
I wanted to go to town to absorb some of the atmosphere such as I have photographed in years past but R wanted to go to Prahran to pick up his new contact lenses. I decided to go with R. I remember years past our foyer would have people dressed up and waiting around for others, so many at the tram stop heading into the city to catch the train to the races, trams full of women with beautiful hats and outfits and some very well groomed and nicely dressed men. This year I saw one race day dressed man leave a taxi and head to the tram stop and we saw three women in South Yarra dressed for the races. Not one person on the tram on the way home heading for the races. I suggest it is a rather subdued Melbourne Cup this year.
Here are a few photos from years past. Two are from Oaks (Ladies) Day on a Thursday, while Cup Day and Oaks Day are all about colour, Derby Day before the Cup is all about black and white, but there often some rebels or ignorant who attend in colour. They won't be in the posh areas if they are in colour.
Oaks Day punters heading to Flinders Street Station.
Waiting for friends.
Waiting for the train.
Ready to surge on board. Cup Day attendances are usually around 100,000 people and the majority travel by train, perhaps for the only time each year.
So the enjoyable experience of putting the bets on went ahead and watching some races but neither of us has contributed to the coffers of the racing industry as even before the cup has been run, we are ahead, in my case substantially. Ok, it is not moral, but at least we have taken money from the industry. Now we will just await The Cup attendance figures and hear all the reasons why numbers were down, ignoring the bloody obvious. It was a wonderful day weather wise, coolish and sunny.
$2 for the win and place on each horse for each race, and an extra horse in The Cup. Total $44. Check back a few hours later and I will up date with a brag or lament about my winnings.
Such a serious matter. Let me end with something I found rather funny. We were about to watch the fourth race when R asked me to check which horse he had put his money on. Ah, I said, we both chose the same horse, Accrued Value. He replied that he was sure he didn't choose that horse. I rechecked. Have you worked it out? Accrued Value was the progressive total moment amount as the bets were put through the machine that takes the slips at the TAB. I is idiot.
Later edit: Profit for me $27 Profit for R, about $20