It's that time of year again. Celebrities are mingling with sports stars under canvas. Bart Cummings's eyebrows are featuring prominently in the media. Punters are listening to their gut feelings and wearing see-through ponchos to keep out the monsoon.
And a few lonely Onions are keeping the House fires burning, and studying the form guide...
Horses you would bet on if the 2010 Melbourne Cup were:
a historical romance set in Florence in the late 14th Century
- Mr Medici
- Monaco Consul
- Profound Beauty
a Zane Grey novel
- Shoot Out
one of the Billabong books
a Herald Sun article about the scourge of binge-drinking teens
one of the much-admired articles in Playboy
- Illustrious Blue
a Socratic dialogue by a Classical Greek philosopher
- So You Think
the long-awaited sequel to a beloved Maurice Sendak picture book
- Once Were Wild
a biography of Mao Tse-tung
- Red Ruler
a memoir of a 19th-century weaver from the Outer Hebrides of Scotland who specialised in luxury woolen cloth woven with subtle flecks of colour
- Harris Tweed
So, pack your gumboots in your handbag, fill your champagne flutes, keep your umbrellas out of other peoples eyes - and have a lovely Melbourne Cup.