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Guide to picking the Melbourne Cup winner - 31st October 2011

Americain's defence of the Melbourne Cup makes him the benchmark horse for tomorrow's running of the great race.

As the favourite and the topweight, the French stayer is a logical choice, but winning the cup two years in a row has always been a difficult task and how he stacks up against other historical aspects of the race also have be taken into account.

Only five horses have won the cup two or more times.

The great Makybe Diva won it three years in a row from 2003 to 2005 but the only other horses to win in successive years were the first ever winner Archer (1861-62), Rain Lover (1968-69) and Think Big (1974-75), while Peter Pan won in split years (1932 and 1934).

Americain will carry the prestigious number one as the topweight and since saddlecloths were first recorded in 1877, it has won 10 cups, second only to number four, (Drunken Sailor) and number 12 (Red Cadeaux) with 11 wins each.

Lucas Cranach has drawn gate 11, the same barrier Americain won from last year, and which has won a record eight cups since barriers were first allocated in 1924 and six since starting stalls as we know them, were first used in 1958.

The bogey barrier is 18 (Hawk Island) which is winless.

Liking a horse's name has been a popular way for many to make their cup selection and clearly horses starting with the initial "T" (The Verminator and Tullamore) have had the edge in the cup with 16 wins.

Four and five-year-olds share a record 43 cups each but the recent trend has been towards the more seasoned stayer.

While six-year-olds have only won 29 cups, six have been in the past 13 years while two of 10 seven-year-old winners figure in the same period.

Looking at the jockeys, and it is best to choose those with plain-bodied silks (56 wins) such as Jukebox Jury, Fox Hunt, Illo, Lost In the Moment, Modun, At First Sight and Shamrocker.

It is best to follow in-form horses as 20 of the 30 winners have won or placed at their last start.

Americain would be the 27th outright favourite to win the cup while seven equal favourites have won but horses at $9 and $11 have been the most successful with 12 and 14 wins respectively.

Horses at $5 and $17 (11 wins each) and $6 (10 wins) also have good records while there have been 16 winners at $31 or longer. *Prediction: *Illo from Fox Hunt, Tullamore, and Shamrocker.


Melbourne Cup News: Sarah Jessica Parker Mate Kristin Davis Scratched From Cup Trip, by Greg Tingle - 25th October 2011

Famous actress Sarah Jessica Parker of 'Sex and the City' fame will soon be in Melbourne to both promote her new film and also to take in Oaks Day as well as perhaps the Melbourne Cup.
We heard Sydney's eastern suburbs are near the top of Parkers' favourite Australian destination, however she is contractually obligated to attend Melbourne.

What's the racing - fashion - celeb news at the races?

Well, Charlotte York (SATC) aka Kristin Davis was originally tipped to be joining Sarah Jessica Parker for Oaks Day at Flemington as a guest of Crown Limited.

It's understood the 'Sex and the City' bombshell had Davis as the one to accompany her during her Melbourne stay, and to help promote her new film, 'I Don't Know How She Does It', and slotted into the Crown marquee in the Elms enclosure, but now we hear Davis is a scratching (to use a horsey term).

Davis has had a lot going on in her life as of late, included just adopting baby Gemma Rose
Parker is confirmed for the movie press conference at Crown Casino on Tuesday 1st November and will be doing the red carpet premiere at Crown following day.

Many a hotel - resort in Melbourne's CBD would love for Parker to be their guest. No prizes for guessing how is most likely in the running.

The flick be released nationally on November 3.


Sarah Jessica Parker Heading To Melbourne Crown For Movie Premiere - 25th October 2011

Famous actress Sarah Jessica Parker of 'Sex and the City' fame will soon be in Melbourne to both promote her new film and also to take in Oaks Day as well as the Melbourne Cup.

Don't get us wrong. She just loves Sydney (and its great weather and beaches), but its in Melbourne where she will get to mix business and pleasure.

The American beauty and talented producer will attend the traditional Ladies Day at Flemington in November when she heads to Melbourne for the first time to promote her flick, I Don't Know How She Does It.

We've also been told she's going to be a very guest at the Crown Casino Marquee, one of the most exclusive, as you might have guessed.

Crown Limited PR General Manager Ann Peacock advised they were delighted to welcome the New York fashion icon to Melbourne.

"It's a perfect match on this most traditional of race days," Ms Peacock said.

The new movie, 'I Don't Know How She Does It', also staring Greg Kinnear, Christina Hendricks from Mad Men and Pierce Brosnan, focuses on the life of Parker, a mum-of-two balancing work and family life.

The press conference is to be held on Tuesday 1st November At Crown's complex and the Australian premiere is on Wednesday 2nd November, also at Crown.

It's rumoured that Ms Parker will be staying at the exclusive Crown Towers, where other actors such as Tom Cruise and his actress wife Katie Holmes have also stayed when doing Melbourne. Crown have not confirmed her rumoured stay at this stage.

Crown Limited top dog, James Packer and his world class team continue to impress with their continues successes into the broad entertainment and lifestyle sector. If the entertainment business has elements of being a game, Mr Packer and team sure look like they are winning.

The film be released nationally on November 3.



Bookies Down Under Thrilled With Americain Win at Melbourne Cup, by Greg Tingle

The bookies were hoping that So You Think would not win Tuesday’s Melbourne Cup. He was the heavily backed favorite who ultimately ended up finishing third. Instead it was Americain who came in first place. The barely mentioned European-trained horse paid 12/1 odds coming into the race.

So You Think had become a bona fide star in Australian coming into this race, becoming the shortest-priced favorite in a Melbourne Cup since Veandercross in 1992. By the AM hours he was set at $3.20.

Sportingbet Australia communications manager Bill Richmond told Wide World of Sports: "There have been a string of big bets for it over the past 24 hours, including two bets of $40,000 and two bets of $20,000.

"We put up $3.70 after the barrier draw on Saturday night, and the money for this horse has just kept rolling in."

Man down under Greg Tingle of Media Man said this on the biggest horse race of the year, The Melbourne Cup:

"Australia's Melbourne Cup is as much about corporate sponsorship, fashion and celebs these days, as it is about the actually horse race itself. Despite Melbourne raining cats and dogs most of today about 100,000 people showed up to witness the race live, and the majority of Australia took most of the day off to watch it on television or the web.

“Many workplaces run sweepstakes and its the talk between businesses, clients and associates. Real work basically goes on hold for the day. Oh, I have a perfect system that works every year without fail to make sure I don't loose on the hardness race in the year to pick. I don't bet on it, rather, we cover the race and let people know some of the best places to place bets on it. Good system hey. “Insiders call the Melbourne Cup a race for mug punters, but I wouldn't be so harsh. It's a very hard race to pick winners and even places. Enjoy the fun, fashion, drinks and women, and you can't go wrong".

The finishing order in the 2010 Melbourne Cup:

1. Americain

2. Maluckyday

3. So You Think

4. Zipping

5. Harris Tweed

6. Holberg

7. Manighar

8. Precedence

9. Illustrious Blue

10. Mr Medici

11. Once Were Wild

12. Tokai Trick

13. Shoot Out

14. Monaco Consul

15. Master O'Reilly

16. Campanologist

17. Profound Beauty

18. Shocking

19. Red Ruler

20. Buccellati

21. Linton

22. Zavite

Descarado failed to finish.


Australia Gambling News: Melbourne Cup Day A Bookie’s Dream … Usually, by Greg Tingle

Happy Melbourne Cup Day. Here's the tip. Punters, media and and insiders have backed So You Think to do today what no horse has done in the 150-year history of the Melbourne Cup. Trainer Bart Cummings' latest champion will start the warmest Cup favourite in 39 years and is entitled to start odds-on according to two of Australia's most respected form experts. The Melbourne Cup is regarded as the main event on the Australian racing calender, and is also thought to be the hardest to pick a winner! It's a bookies dream (usually).

James Packer, Warnie, Celebs Play And Party At Crown Casino...

Well, Derby Day might have been a wash out, but Crown Casino is on fire. Today's is Australia's 150th Melbourne Cup, but Crown seems to be getting more than their fair share of headlines thanks to the Packer / s - Warnie and friends collaboration and celeb poker tourney. The Crown Poker Room (home of the Aussie Millions Poker Championship), played host to the annual ''Joe Hachem and Shane Warne Charity Poker Tournament''. Promo talk has it as as the most prestigious fund-raising poker event on the social calendar, which is about on the money.

The happening nets in Australia's most successful players (Hachem, Emad Tahtouh), high-profile sports stars (Warne, Gary Ablett, Kevin Muscat, Aaron Hamill), influential business leaders (James Packer, Andrew Bassett, Michael Kroger, Andrew Fox, Jeffrey Browne), and celebs from down under's Aussiewood (Jason Dundas, Kris Smith, Michael Gudinski, James Matheson, Fifi Box). They are looking to raise more than half a million bucks for sick and needy kids in Australia via The Shane Warne Foundation. Media Man understands that more than 350 punters paid $1000 each to take a seat at this event. The Packer family and the super A-list spent Saturday night at their traditional karaoke party, which is nestled away in one of the finest, most exclusive parts of the casino.

As you might imagine the Victoria Racing Club is praying for much better weather today for The Cup after Saturday's raining cats and dogs which turned Flemington's Birdcage and many of its guests into quite the country barn yard, with jokes among patrons and staff of mud wrestling, Noah's Ark, Mission: Impossible, Water World being a bit of light relief. We'll be getting back to our vast and loyal readership with more from Crown Casino and the tourney very soon, so stay tuned. Well done Crown Casino, Packer, Warnie and all you 'Aussie Gumleaf Mafia' out there. It's a been a huge week in the world of casino and poker news, and we're pleased to finish on this high note.

Mildura Casino Proposal Still Alive; Not Dead Yet!...

The ALP says a proposal for a casino in Mildura is not dead, despite the Coalition and Greens refusing to support it. The Government has always indicated the casino would require bipartisan to go ahead but the Opposition parties now say the social costs are too high. However, the ALP's Member for Northern Victoria, Candy Broad, says an interdepartmental inquiry looking at the $400 million project will run its course. "We believe the Nationals and Liberals are letting down Victorians in the Mildura region by refusing to even support an investigation into the social and economic impacts of the proposal," she said. "The fact is that no-one can be certain what the social and economic impacts of this proposal are until they have been assessed. "It remains our view that this proposal could potentially create jobs and investment in the area, that is why we set up an interdepartmental (inquiry) committed to look at the proposal and evaluate its impact on the Mildura region - we intend to continue with that investigation."

Racing Sector Compensated For Online Betting!...

South Australia's racing industries have reached a settlement they say will ensure them adequate compensation as punters increasingly turn to the internet to bet. Bookmaker Sportsbet has dropped legal action that was blocking payments being made to horse and greyhound racing in SA. Thoroughbred Racing SA estimates the breakthrough will mean an annual return from all online bookmakers of approximately $5.5 million annually for its operations. Chief executive Jim Watters believes the success of the negotiations was critical for prize money and the future of racing generally. "Without the introduction of that (payment) very seriously it was going to undermine the racing industry in South Australia," he said.

John Singleton And Mark Carnegie Buy Bellevue Hotel; Pokie VS Entertainment Debate...

Aussie advertising and horse racing king John Singleton and investment banker friend Mark Carnegie are set to add to their pub empire with the purchase of Paddington landmark (in Sydney) The Bellevue Hotel. The famous watering hole in Hargrave Street is owned by well-known chef Damien Pignolet. His co-owner, psychologist Ron White, passed away in May while on a walking holiday in Britain. The pair bought The Bellevue from publican Susie Carleton and political lobbyist Eric Walsh for $5.5 million in 2004. Under Carleton and Walsh's 25-year stewardship,

The Bellevue was a renowned Labor party haunt, the scene of wild celebrations for former Aussie PM Paul Keating's ''True Believers'' victory and an even wilder one to celebrate the life of Labor stalwart Mick Young. The purchase price for The Bellevue has not been disclosed as yet. Singleton and Carnegie have bought a string of hotels this year including Kinselas in Darlinghurst for $12 million and the Manly hotel The Steyne for about $28 million. They also bought the Peakhurst Hotel earlier this year from bankrupt publican Richard Wynne for about half the $20 million that Mr Wynne paid for it only a year earlier. The pub investments are being done through Carnegie and Singleton's bankrolling of the Riversdale group, run by Paddy Coughlan and Rod Kelly.

The hotel industry has slumped over the past 18 months. Many hotels have been selling for greatly reduced prices. According to Coughlan, many publicans have relied too heavily on profits from poker machines and have not paid enough attention to hospitality. The consortium's plans for Kinselas include refurbishment of the upstairs bar and the opening of an entertainment venue on the third floor. It is likely that Singleton and Carnegie will add more pubs to their impressive portfolio. Coughlan said the group had between $50 and $100 million to buy distressed hotels. ''Once we reach our initial target of $100 million we plan to take the distressed pub fund public with the backing of our consortium and investors,'' Coughlan has said previously. Singo is understood to have an interest in getting into the online gambling sector and raping up the horse racing sector on the internet, and Media Man will be putting forward a proposal on this in the coming months. Watch this space.

Australian Gambling Wars: Tatts Group Eyes Tabcorp!...

Tatts Group chief Dick McIlwain has confirmed his company's interest in acquiring Tabcorp's wagering and gaming business. He revealed that he would be closely monitoring his rival's planned demerger over the coming months. Speaking outside the Tatts AGM a couple of days ago, McIlwain said the two companies had held numerous discussions about potential transactions over recent years but had failed to agree on price.

"Obviously, part of (Tabcorp's) business -- the gambling business -- is of some interest to us. It's the same kind of business as us," he told News Limited "It's got to happen first. We've got to see the consequences of (the demerger) and what it does for the share price of the ongoing part of the business. We're not in any hurry."

Shares in Tabcorp have risen strongly since the company last week announced its plan to split its casinos business from the main gaming and wagering group. Several analysts say the move will position the company for a takeover. Mr McIlwain agreed that the demerger had merit, pointing out that the business of running casinos and hotels, which typically required significant ongoing investment for facility upgrades, was different to running a gambling business where cashflows and earnings were more reliable.

"What it does do is it makes it easier for investors to choose. It makes it easier for shareholders and makes it easier for acquirers as well," he said.

While Tatts only recently completed its acquisition of NSW Lotteries, which it expects to contribute a further $120 million in operating earnings by 2014, Mr McIlwain said a sound balance sheet ensured the company remained "opportunistic" and "acquisition-enabled".

Tatts recently reported a $119m profit for the year to June 30, down from $277.4m the previous year on the back of a writedown to its loss-making British gaming venture Talarius. Following a tough period for most companies exposed to discretionary spending, signs of renewed confidence in the economy were starting to emerge.

Mr McIlwain said. "Consumers, punters, players . . . have started to put their hands deeper into their pockets now," he said.

He told the meeting that revenue and profits across the group had improved since July 1. And while he noted that the analysts' consensus was for underlying operating earnings to increase from $560m to $650m in 2011. It appears there's a strong chance that Tatt's will grab Tabcorp's wagering business, but this may take months or even over a year to happen. First the demerger, than things should fall into place.

Wrap Up...

Readers... er, punters, how did you like our report today? Who's looking good for the Melbourne Cup? Any favorite games we should know about? Tell us in the forum.

If you have a bet, please bet with your head, not over it, and for God's sake, have fun.

*Greg Tingle is a special contributor for Gambling911

*Media Man is primarily a media, publicity and internet portal development company. They cover a dozen industry sectors including gaming and offer political commentary and analysis.



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Melbourne is the second most populous city in Australia, with a metropolitan area population of approximately 3.81 million (2007 estimate).

Located around Port Phillip Bay in Australia's south-east, Melbourne is the state capital of Victoria. A person from Melbourne is called a Melburnian.

Melbourne a major centre of commerce, industry and cultural activity. The city is often referred to as Australia's 'sporting and cultural capital' and it is home to many of the nation's most significant cultural and sporting events and institutions. It has been recognised as a gamma world city by the Loughborough University group's 1999 inventory. Melbourne is notable for its mix of Victorian and contemporary architecture, its extensive tram network and Victorian parks and gardens, as well as its diverse, multicultural society. It was the host city of the 1956 Summer Olympics and the 2006 Commonwealth Games.

Melbourne was founded by free settlers in 1835, 47 years after the first European settlement of Australia, as a pastoral settlement situated around the Yarra River. Transformed rapidly into a major metropolis by the Victorian gold rush in the 1850s, 'Marvellous Melbourne' became Australia's largest and most important city by 1865, but was overtaken by Sydney as the largest city in Australia during the early 20th century.

Melbourne served as the federal seat of government from the time of the new nation's federation in 1901, until Federal Parliament moved to the purpose-built capital, Canberra, in 1927. (Credit: Wikipedia).



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