Melbourne Cup. The race that stops a nation.

Melbourne Cup. The race that stops a nation.

By Clare Sultmann

Melbourne Cup.  The race that stops a nation.  An event synonymous with our way of life. 24 horses lined up and it’s anyone’s game. Billionaires and Millionaires, and sometimes even the odd Royal, fighting it out to take the ultimate prize. To win the most coveted trophy in Australian Racing. The Melbourne Cup. Yet among the Billionaires, The Royals, The Titans of industry and the powerful are some ordinary folk too. Those who most think are there through sheer luck. A fluke. As the papers noted about a horse that was entered in the 2016 field ‘A fluker’s hope’. That horse happened to be my husband’s and two years ago we made the trek to Melbourne to cheer on a horse which no one had given a hope of winning.


But as I stood in the mounting yard, surrounded by racing royalty one thing struck me. Any horse on any day can win the race. The thing that mattered most is that we were there. In with a chance. A small one at that, but nonetheless, a chance.


I once heard Stephen Bradbury give a speech. He was the first man to cross the line following a pile up in the 1000 metre short track speed skating final at the Winter Olympics in 2002. A lot of people talked about how lucky he was to have won that final, that the demolition of most of the field aided his win. The words ‘never would have won if the others hadn’t fallen over’ was a popular consensus. Yet as Stephen pointed out in his speech, what those commentators didn’t see was the work that he had put in to even make the final. The endless training sessions, the dedication required day and night and the fact that he survived so many preliminary heats to enable him a place in that final. As he said, he showed up. He was there and because of that he was in with a chance.  As Woody Allen said: ‘Eighty percent of success is showing up’.
So like Stephen, we showed up. We never won that day, but what I took away from the experience was that the race reminded me so much of the Australian way. Work hard and train hard. You don’t have to be the son or daughter of a billionaire, you just have to show up and have a go.

Clare Sultmann

Clare Sultmann is a wife, mother of 3 and the founder of Dear Molly.
As a survivor of a catastrophic accident, former barrister at law, published author, and nationally accredited mediator Clare has returned to work in a different capacity. Relocating to Noosa shortly after the birth of her first child, Clare found it difficult to make meaningful and real connections with other like-minded women away from her own network of friends. With this in mind, Clare’s idea was born. Dear Molly aims to provide connections for like-minded women in a real, meaningful and positive manner. It a platform to share, communicate and inspire other women about their ‘real’ life.


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