Paris Portingale

About Paris Portingale

Paris Portingale is a writer and dog owner. While having a somewhat indifferent attitude towards abstemious self-restraint, he does follow the safe guidelines of four standard drinks a day, although his standards are a great deal higher than most, certainly the medical profession’s. Paris is visited often in the night by God, and the meetings are anything but pleasant.

The Melbourne Cup: Bigger than Ben Hur…if we moved it to Sydney

Practical punter Paris Portingale has some ideas to jazz up the Melbourne Cup…like adding some chariots…and not holding it in Melbourne.


The Melbourne Cup – great day out, great race, great fashion, great excuse to get pissed, crap venue. Seriously, crap venue. It’s a total mystery why they insist on having it in Flemington, which I’m here to tell you is a dump. Total crap. I know there are some who would agree when I say that the whole city is in fact crap, and I’d even go so far as to extend that to the state in general, which as you no doubt know is Victoria, last state on the way down before you jump the channel that separates mainland Australia from the twilight zone of Tasmania. I’m sorry Victoria, I’m sorry Melbourne and I’m sorry Flemington, but seriously, if you’d take a quiet moment to slip off the rose coloured glasses, get the bullet squarely between the teeth, bite down hard and have a bit of an objective look around, you might start to notice that things are pretty second rate down there in pretty much every department.

No, my suggestion would be to have the Melbourne Cup somewhere else entirely, possibly somewhere like Sydney. In fact Sydney would be ideal. Move it all up here, run the thing somewhere where you could watch it from the Harbour Bridge; maybe the Botanical Gardens or around the Opera House and get a bit of culture worked into the thing. You could still call it the Melbourne Cup, no worries there, it’d just be in Sydney, that’s all. I know a couple of mug punters who wouldn’t even know the difference. My brother-in-law Ray, for instance. Case in point, I was fucking around this one night and to prove a particular point I asked Ray who he thought wrote Mendelssohn’s Spring Song. He was playing darts at the time and had somehow just managed to get one of the things to ricochet around the room and pike him in the neck, and he said, “How the fuck would I know?” and I guess you’d get a similar result if you asked him where the Melbourne Cup was held, only without the extra laugh of him having a dart stuck in his neck.

As great as it is, I think the whole experience of the Melbourne Cup has the potential to be jacked up considerably in the excitement department, and one way I’d like to suggest here is by including chariots. Make it more like the grand spectacle of the big race at the end of Ben Hur. Laps around the Opera House in chariots with fucking great knives coming out of the wheels. That would be brilliant. You could have a VIP stand ringside with the Governor General in one of those leaf hats, giving the old thumbs up and thumbs down and sending the losers off to be eaten by lions. You don’t see enough of that these days and I think the low level of morale we see around us can be pretty much directly traced back to that. In my opinion, holding the Melbourne Cup in Sydney could only serve to turn that around and make Australia the great nation it has every right to be in every department. It’s something we owe ourselves.


And the all important MELBOURNE CUP TIP from Paris…

My tip for this year’s Melbourne Cup, once more held in Melbourne I see, but I’ve had my say about that, would have to be Unchain My Heart. I don’t know a lot about horse racing but it seems to me, just from the standpoint of plain logic, a one dollar bet on Unchain My Heart, returning $201.00, would have to be the most sensible investment, certainly better than a dollar on Admiral Ratty, (I’m assuming “Admire Rakti” is a misprint because it makes no sense whatsoever) returning five dollars and thus giving you a net loss of $196.00 from not betting on Unchain My Heart. I’m placing $500.00 on the animal, which by my calculations will leave me $100,500.00 up on the day. Not a bad result in anyone’s books, and I’d say you’d have to be mad as a bag of snakes not to follow my example.

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