Sigh of relief that Cup came off so well - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Sigh of relief that Cup came off so well

07/11/2007 05:47:39 AM Comments (0)

Celebrations continued into the night after the Melbourne Cup and not just for the connections of the winner Efficient.

Although the Cup day crowd of 102,411 was down on last year, Victorian racing officials breathed a sigh of relief that the race went ahead at all after equine influenza (EI) threatened to stop the race that stops a nation.

The virus has shut down major racing in NSW and Queensland but has stayed away from Victoria where the spring carnival generates more than $600 million for the state's economy.

Perhaps the only ones not celebrating were the bookmakers, who were hit heavily through the doubles, although Efficient had lost favour in recent weeks and started at $17.

TAB turnover was down more than 10 per cent owing to the combined effects of EI and an unprecedented three Cup-day scratchings.

Trainer Graeme Rogerson, a teetotaller, toasted the victory on Tuesday night with his usual diet cola as he joined owner Lloyd Williams who had preferred to watch the race from his home.

The former Crown Casino boss ventured out in the evening to soak up the party atmosphere in a private room at his old stamping ground.

Purple Moon's trainer Luca Cumani flew straight home after the Cup with his intention to stay only if he had won.

"I feel slightly disappointed we got so close but when it all sinks in it's been a tremendous achievement," Cumani said.

Aidan O'Brien who prepares third-placed Mahler said he would also like to return next year.

"I would love to come back, it's great to be involved," O'Brien said.

"He (Mahler) might. We'll see how he is. Next year's a long time away."

Both O'Brien and Cumani also believe that by 2008 Australia will have come to terms with horse flu which is a fact of life all over the world.

"All horses must be vaccinated, it's a no-brainer," O'Brien said.

EI quarantine restrictions prevented last year's winner Delta Blues returning but the Japanese have vowed to be back along with the Europeans and Australian icon Bart Cummings whose runner Sirmione finished 12th.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2020 AAP

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