Can Brisbane winter produce another Melbourne Cup winner?

The Brisbane winter carnival has produced the last two winners of the Melbourne Cup leaving some to ask whether a third could come on the first Tuesday in November.

The ill-fated Viewed followed his 2008 triumph in the Group Two Brisbane Cup (2400m) with Melbourne Cup victory five months later while Shocking was runner-up in the Group One Queensland Derby before going on to claim the famous Flemington feature last year.

Trainer Bevan Laming and jockey Chris Munce teamed for their third Brisbane Cup victories together when Crossthestart won at Eagle Farm last Saturday while the Bart Cummings-trained Dariana strolled to an easy win in the Queensland Derby.
Laming and Munce previously combined to win the Brisbane Cup when it was a Group One race over 3200 metres with Desert Chill in 1995 and 1997.

Munce also won the 1982 Brisbane Cup on Grooming.

Laming plans to send Crossthestart back to Melbourne in the spring but only time will tell if the gelding makes it to the major Cup races.

Meanwhile, Brisbane Racing Club chairman Kevin Dixon is delighted with the winter carnival so far which has delivered the best attendance results in years following a 21 per cent rise in patronage to 57,000.

“Stradbroke Day undoubtedly confirmed its position as Queensland’s biggest carnival day with attendance at 23,980, with an estimated 2000 visitors from interstate and overseas,” Dixon said.

“Total prizemoney was nearly $8 million with 31 of the 40 races carrying black type with six races run at Group One level.”

The final Group One of the season, the Winter Stakes (1400m), will be run at Eagle Farm on Saturday week.

Stradbroke day is always the highlight of the winter carnival with three Group One races, two Group Twos and three Listed races.

Dixon believes the winter carnival again stamped itself as a significant event on the Australian racing calendar with Australasia’s best trainers, horses and jockeys competing.

“A hundred and forty-nine individual horses from Victoria and NSW came to Brisbane for the carnival and another 30 horses specially made the trip across the Tasman from New Zealand,” Dixon said.

“Nineteen individual winners of Group One races competed over the five days of high-quality racing including Australia’s highest-rated racehorse, Whobegotyou.

“This makes the Channel 7 Brisbane Racing Carnival the biggest festival of racing in Queensland by far.”