Cup marks two milestones


Organisers of the Melbourne Cup say the running of this year’s “race that stops a nation” will include celebrations to mark two major milestones in Australia’s modern history.

A spokesperson for the Victoria Racing Club (VRC) said a special performance would recognise the 45th anniversary of former governor-general Sir John Kerr’s speech at the cup presentation to the jockey and connections of the 1977 race winner Gold and Black. (main picture)

“We’re keeping details under wraps but I can say we’ve secured agreement from former deputy PM Barnaby Joyce to recreate Sir John’s appearance,” the spokesperson said.

“It might seem an odd choice but he’s the best we’ve seen recently at speaking garbled bullshit, giving speeches peppered with bizarre allusions, and mangling words even though he is sober, or at least says he is.”

When asked why the VRC had chosen to mark the 45th anniversary of Sir John Kerr’s speech and not its 50th, the spokesperson explained: “Having commissioned experts to view and analyse the archival footage of the event we estimate Sir John’s BAC was around 0.45 so there’s a definite symmetry there.”

The VRC spokesperson said the 1 November Melbourne Cup meet at Flemington race track would also feature a belated celebration to mark the 25th anniversary of Senator Pauline Hanson’s explosive first speech in Federal Parliament in 1996 as the then MP for Oxley.

“We know we are a year late in marking the 25th anniversary of the speech that led to the formation of the One Nation party, but the COVID lockdowns and restrictions forced us to abandon it,” the spokesperson said.

Asked to identify any symmetry between the Melbourne Cup and One Nation, the spokesperson was quick to reply: “Well at the time of her first speech Pauline was painted rightly or wrongly as the racist that stops a nation.”