Excerpt from “Cup Day” by Maurice Cavanough & Meurig Davies ~~Carbine~~

picture-CupDay-CavanoughDaviesIt was a field as strong in class as numbers. Second favourite to Carbine was Vengeance, winner of the 1890 Caulfield Cup. Next in the betting was Melos, who had beaten Carbine at weight-for-age, and who had nine pounds better of the weights under scale conditions. The V.R.C. Derby winner, Admiral, added further class to the field.
The owner of Melos, Mr W. Gannon, started Gatling in the Cup solely to ensure a fast pace. He considered Melos a superior stayer to Carbine and wanted to make sure the top-weight had to carry his burden all the way.
Through one of the lucky breaks that are always possible in racing, Bob Ramage had the mount on Carbine in place of Mick O’Brien, who was a sick man throughout that racing season. Nobody, not even O’Brien himself, could have handled the champion better.
Ramage knew that in such a huge field it would be fatal to let Carbine drop too far out of his ground. Despite the sparkling pace set first by Gatling and then by Whymbrel, Carbine never lost touch with the leaders, and it was Melos who cracked at the back of the course when he was endeavouring to match strides with the champion.
From the home turn, Carbine unleashed a terrific run which took him to the front at the distance. Highborn and Correze endeavoured to make a race of it with the favourite, but Ramage merely waved the whip at Carbine, whose long sweeping stride took him to the line an easy winner by two and a half lengths from Highborn, with Correze a further half-length away third.
Flemington had seen some demonstrative receptions in its time, but never before or since has a Cup crowd gone as wild with joy as it did when it became apparent that Carbine had the Cup won.
‘Old Jack’, as Carbine was known, loved applause (it is related of him that on occasions he refused to leave the saddling-paddock until he felt he had had his mead of applause) and as he walked back to scale with the indifferent hind action that so belied his galloping ability, it seemed as if the great champion felt the tremendous reception was no more than his due.
The time, 3.28¼, was a new record, and stood until 1905 when Blue Spec reduced it to 3.27½, but Blue Spec carried 33 pounds less than Carbine!
If there were any who saw Carbine win his Cup, and still doubted his greatness, the connections of the second horse, Highborn, could have convinced them. Highborn’s stable had tried their horse to be an absolute certainty at the weights, and they backed him to win a fortune at long odds. The following autumn, Highborn, who had carried only 6.8 in Carbine’s Cup, won the Sydney Cup with 9.3. Is any further evidence of Carbine’s greatness necessary?



1 Comment

Filed under Literature, Non-Fiction, Sport

One response to “Excerpt from “Cup Day” by Maurice Cavanough & Meurig Davies ~~Carbine~~

  1. Carbine started in races 43 times for 33 wins, six seconds and three thirds, failing to place only once due to a badly split hoof. In the 1890 Melbourne Cup, he set a weight-carrying record of 10st 5lb (66 kg) in the Cup, defeating a field of 39 starters and setting a record time for the race. He carried 53lb (24 kg) more than the second-place horse, Highborn.

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