Mel­bourne Cup Carnival pro­gram ................

Chan­nel 7 has named its race day celebrity line-up

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - NEWS -

SPORTS­CASTER Bruce McA­vaney hosts his 11th Mel­bourne Cup Carnival for Chan­nel 7. Hav­ing be­gun his ca­reer as a race caller, he has called the Mel­bourne Cup four times.

Still, he re­tains an in­fec­tious en­thu­si­asm in look­ing for­ward to this year’s carnival.

‘‘The Cup is go­ing to go up an­other level. I’m con­vinced this is the stay­ing cham­pi­onship of the world, with a huge chal­lenge from the in­ter­na­tional horses, and of those Aus­tralian horses, who will be left stand­ing?’’ he says.

For Seven, the four-day Mel­bourne Cup Carnival tele­cast ri­vals the AFL Grand Fi­nal, Bathurst 1000 and the Aus­tralian Open Tennis. More than 300 per­son­nel work across the 30-hour tele­cast.

Some 50-plus cam­eras cap­ture the ac­tion from track­ing ve­hi­cles, in the jock­eys’ and stew­ards’ rooms, in the parade and bet­ting rings, in the bar­ri­ers, on the ground and from he­li­copters above. Be­tween races, the fo­cus turns to the Bird­cage, at Fash­ions on the Field, in the Mem­bers’ Pavilion, in the gen­eral pub­lic ar­eas and the carparks.

Francesca Cu­mani, the in­ter­na­tional rider and daugh­ter of prom­i­nent English trainer Luca Cu­mani, joins McA­vaney and co-hosts Si­mon Mar­shall and Richard Freed­man on the panel.

Oth­ers who join the ac­tion in­clude pre­sen­ter Jo­hanna Griggs.

‘‘I’m look­ing for­ward to catch­ing up with loads of peo­ple I get to see only once a year, and who are al­ways in a great mood around the carnival time. The fash­ion should be in­ter­est­ing as so many prints and bright colours are the big trend right now, so it should be even more colourful than usual,’’ Griggs says.

Sur­viv­ing Cup Day last year ‘‘with­out ac­tu­ally killing any­one with my rather large head­wear’’ was a high­light for Griggs. That and sneak­ing track­side for the Cup, which she doesn’t get to do of­ten.

‘‘I spent half the race watch­ing the field and the other half watch­ing the crowd. It was such an awe­some ex­pe­ri­ence to look at the sta­dium which was packed with peo­ple and all of them fo­cused on one point in the track. I still get tin­gles think­ing about the roar they made as the horses came around the last bend into the straight. It was fan­tas­tic.’’

Derby Day: Satur­day, from 10am, Seven, Prime7.

Mel­bourne Cup: Pre­view: Sun­day from noon, Seven, Prime7; Race day: Tues­day, from 9am, Seven, Prime7.

Oaks Day: Thurs­day, Novem­ber 8 from 11am, Seven, Prime7.

Stakes Day: Satur­day, Novem­ber 10 from 10am, Seven, Prime7.

Joh Griggs.

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