Melbourne Cup 2020: 'Kiwi' connection out to continue family history at Flemington

NZ-bred mare 'Etah James' may be trained across the Tasman these days, but she's hoping to continue a proud tradition for a famous racing family with a strong 'Kiwi' connection to the Melbourne Cup.

One of New Zealand's iconic Melbourne Cup moments, victory for 'Kiwi' - who was ridden by NZ jockey Jimmy Cassidy and trained by the legendary Snow Lupton - in the 1983 edition of the race was considered a triumph for the whole country.

Lupton's nephew Mark watched from Waverley, and still remembers the celebrations.

"There was a big party in the local Clarendon hotel that night," Mark Lupton tells Newshub. "Snowy's son Warwick and I had a big night in there… I think I still have a bit of the hangover to be fair." 

And there might be another one brewing, if 'Etah James' - the horse he bred and owns - can win on Tuesday.

The nerves have already kicked in and it'll be an emotional moment for the family when the gates fly open at Flemington. 

"It will be [emotional]," he admits. "It was a real buzz when 'Kiwi' won, it was huge for our family and we've got some talented horse people in our family.

"'Jamie-Lee' won the Wellington Cup this year so it's pretty special for the family."

Lupton is realistic - but optimistic - about her chances.

The bookies have written her off. But then, they always do .

"She won the Packenham Cup and my mate's got $61 to one on her," he says. 

"Then they said she couldn't win the Sydney Cup and she won that as well. So I'd never underestimate her.

"All her work leading in has been top class, she'll give it her best shot. She'll be running on when a lot of them are stopping."

Much like a certain chestnut gelding 37 years ago.  

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