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Nicola Matthews is your average Australian.

An 18 year old from Canberra, she will be having her first bet on the Melbourne Cup this year – despite her protestations that she doesn’t know how to bet.

Every year, all manners of experts come out of the woodwork and declare a horse in the Melbourne Cup.

This year, we’ve decided to get Nicola’s opinion.

She admits she knows nothing about horse racing and very little about the Melbourne Cup, but she is like most Australians, in that she has to have a Melbourne Cup flutter.

Just Horse Racing decided to run an experiment with her, getting her to select a horse using three common methods: the horse’s saddlecloth number, the colours of the jockey’s silks and the horse’s name.


Nicola was asked to choose a random number between 1 and 24 prior to final Melbourne Cup acceptances.

She chose number 18, which will be carried by Sydney Cup winner NIWOT.


Asked to look at all 24 sets of silks, she initially declared the silks to be “too ugly and she didn’t like any of them”. But when forced to make a decision, she settled on the colours of NIWOT (Navy Blue, Gold Lightning Bolt, Gold And White Armbands, Gold Cap).

Her reasoning?

“The thunderbolt on his silks reminds me of Harry Potter’s scar…”

Ah well, each to their own!


Her exclamations upon seeing the names of the horses engaged in this year’s Melbourne Cup are not suitable to be published. Needless to say, she was not amused.

“Why do horses have silly names? They are statements, not names,” she said.

In the end, she decided that MOUNT ATHOS had the best name.

So for her first Melbourne Cup bet, Nicola will be having something small on both Niwot and Mount Athos.

Who knows? Her first Melbourne Cup bet may be a winning one!

*Existing customers only. 2nd Racing bet. Excl SA & WA. T’s & C’s apply. Gamble responsibly.
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