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The Story of the Melbourne Cup, Australia's Greatest Race celebrates the remarkable history of a wonderful horse race – one of the world's most famous and enduring tests of a thoroughbred.
This is a story of the risk takers and planners who have made a race into a cultural phenomenon; toffs and battlers; the genius trainers Cummings, de Mestre and Freedman; the marvellous riding skills of Lewis, White and Boss; the obsessives, the families, and the flukes; the dominance of the Kiwis and the sudden surge of northern invaders; and how the Melbourne Cup has evolved through boom times, wars and depression. The concept of a handicap race as a nation's greatest event is unique to Australia and the Melbourne Cup. It represents so much about its host nation – a chance for all no matter the circumstances of birth or opportunity.
The Story of the Melbourne Cup, Australia's Greatest Race is as much a story about that growing nation as it is about its most famous event.
Stephen Howell has been a racing editor at The Slattery Media Group since 2008. For 40 years before that he was a newspaper journalist, working in different sections on different papers (The Examiner and The Mercury in Tasmania, The Daily Mirror in Sydney, and The Sun, The Herald, The Sunday Age and The Age in Melbourne), but always returned to sport, both as a writer and editor.
He has covered football, tennis, athletics and cycling, but has concentrated basketball, and on his first sporting love, racing. For 20 years he covered the men’s and women’s national basketball leagues and followed Australia’s international campaigns, reporting at the Sydney Olympic Games in 2000, the 1998 men’s world championships in Athens, and the women’s world championship in Adelaide and Sydney in 1994. From the mid-1990s until after the 2008 Melbourne Cup carnival, he wrote racing features for The Sunday Age and The Age, and for several years edited The Age’s tabloid liftout formguide.
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