The TAB was deserted at 9.30 a.m. "Everyone bets on their phone," she told me when I got home. Of course.
Cup Day lunch: home-made chicken burgers in the sun at the new table in the garden, with roses as good as Flemington's (Queen Elizabeth climber planted last year is now in full bloom and six feet tall with a bullet). The burgers were very simple; nothing to it. Hardly needs a recipe:
Toast burger buns very lightly.
Grill or fry crumbed (breadcrumbs, garlic, herbs of choice, salt, pepper) chicken fillets until just done.
Ample shredded iceberg lettuce as a bed for the chicken on bottom bun spread with mayonnaise (peri-peri or aioli). More mayonnaise flecked with finely chopped white onion under top bun. Serve.
Alexandra had chosen Vow and Declare, who lost the race with fifty metres to go after leading bravely; and then, incredibly, took off again and got his nose in front.
Then, on the replay, the second horse's crazy diagonal charge across the track in the last fifty metres incited three words from Thomas (or was it William?): "Insane Nascar driver!"
There was always going to be an appeal. Frankie Dettori's Cup Day blasts through the field, once again crashing and burning, are becoming legendary. Second to fourth; third to second; fourth to third.
Craig Williams must be heading for a broadcast career after retirement if his post-race interviews were anything to go on.
- "How does it feel to win Australia's most famous horse race?"
- "He did all the work; I just got to sit on him."
In the old days the afternoon Herald would be spread on the kitchen table by 6 o'clock (via grey Herald Sun delivery van and Hoffman's Road newsagent) and there in screen-dotted black and white print, lit by late Spring sunshine creeping in the western kitchen window, lay the photo of the winner at the post with block headlines and reverse-print arrowed labels over the heads of each horse.
No evening paper any more and nothing on TV. I took the boys across town, east on Bell Street to Heidelberg, south past the walled gardens of East Ivanhoe, and then along Whitehorse Road to genteel Balwyn's Palace cinema: Balloon, the story of two families' escape from GDR - across the border into Bavaria. Every teenager should see it. Why? A few reasons.