No greater honour than to hold Melbourne Cup, says jockey
A MEETING with the Queen still doesn't beat holding up the Melbourne Cup for former jockey John Marshall.
In 1999, Marshall rode the Bart Cummings-trained Rogan Josh, to be given the honour of lifting one of Australia's most iconic trophies.
But back in 1988, he rode the winner in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Canberra in the Bicentennial year, and was presented with the trophy by Her Majesty.
"I think the history behind the Emirates Melbourne Cup supersedes everything," Marshall said.
WHERE AND WHEN TO SEE THE CUP
- 9am Spinks Park,
- 3pm-5pm Lismore Shopping Square
- From 6pm Lismore Turf Club
- 9am-10am Big Prawn
- 12.30pm-4pm Ballina RSL Services Club
Marshall will be escorting the Melbourne Cup when it comes to Lismore and Ballina this Friday and Saturday.
He recalls the day he rode the Cup winner, and could hold the Cup with his bare hands - whereas he can only touch it with gloves now.
"There was a flood of emotions when you realise (you've won)," he said. "First, there's the relief because of the pre-race hype and pressure, and pressure you put on yourself. It's unbelievable."
Marshall rode in 11 Cups, and had a 10-year connection with Bart Cummings.
He was aged 42 when he rode the winner, in the "twilight" of his career. He had a further two rides after that.
The annual tour of the Cup is now in its 12th year and aims to share the stories and personalities of the 153-year-old race "that stops a nation".
After the official welcoming in Lismore by mayor Jenny Dowell in Spinks Park, the Cup and its entourage will visit the Caroona Jarman Hostel, Trinity Catholic College as well as meeting students and staff from Southern Cross University.
Tickets to the Lismore Turf Club event are $50 and include a three-course meal with funds going to the Lismore Cancer Council.