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2020 Melbourne Cup forecast proves weather gods have twisted sense of humour

Anthony Sharwood, Friday October 30, 2020 - 15:36 EDT

The city of Melbourne has gone through Covid hell this year.

After months of lockdown, many restrictions are finally easing, though not to the point where racegoers will be allowed at Flemington on Tuesday for the Melbourne Cup.

Image: Seats were full at the 2013 Melbourne Cup. This year, the sun will be shining on an empty grandstand due to Covid restrictions. Source: Jupiter Firelyte / Wikimedia Commons

So what does the weather look like doing for the 160th running of the great race – which for the first time will stop the nation without any punters on track?

The forecast is for an absolute belter of a day on Tuesday, with abundant sunshine and a forecast maximum of 28°C, although models suggest it could nudge 30°C.

It seems the weather gods have a twisted sense of humour.

This would be the warmest Cup Day since 2014 (29.4°C) when German horse Protectionist won comfortably in warm, decidely un-European conditions.

If Melbourne's maximum exceeds that temperature, then it will be the warmest Cup day since 2005, when Makybe Diva won an unprecedented third consecutive Cup in a balmy 30.7°C.

Weather-wise, the last three Melbourne Cup days have all been on the miserable side.

Last year, when Aussie horse Vow and Declare won, the mercury struggled to reach 19.6°C.

In 2018, it was a little warmer with a top of 21.4°C, but there were around 40mm of rain as Dubai's Godolphin stable finally won the race they'd been targeting for two decades with Cross Counter.

In 2017, imported horses Johannes Vermeer and Rekindling slogged it out down the Flemington straight on a chilly 15.8°C day when 3.4mm of rain fell.

So if you're having a small flutter on Tuesday, which horses will benefit from the likely warm, dry conditions? form analyst Adam Blencowe told Weatherzone that Caulfield Cup winner Verry Elleegant wants rain, as does Cox Plate winner and race favourite Sir Dragonet, whereas highly rated import Anthony Van Dyck prefers a dry track.

Our best bet for a great Melbourne Cup day on Tuesday? Go for a walk in the beautiful spring sunshine.

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