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Mark Webber has no time for Melbourne Cup

Horseracing not high on Red Bull driver’s list of favourite things to do

Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: Red Bull Formula One driver Mark Webber says he will not be one of the Australians to catch the Melbourne Cup fever on Tuesday.

“I love sport but horseracing is not far off the bottom of my list. My father did not tolerate gambling in my house and I am not a fan of how much it’s rammed down your throat in Australia,” Webber told media after qualifying in second at the Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Saturday.

“If you love gambling it’s a good buzz, but it does nothing for me. I would rather ride my mountain bike,” he added.

The final 24-horse field for the 2012 Melbourne Cup was announced late on Saturday with the prestigious Group 1 staying race to take place at Flemington on November 6.

This year’s Melbourne Cup field is considered to be one of the strongest in recent times with former winners Americain and Dunaden staying favourites with bookmakers.

Webber, however, will not be one of those betting.

“No I won’t be betting,” he said while relating an instance when he got “busted” for betting as a student.

“I did bet when I was very, very young when our grandparents let us put a little sneaky fiver and my horse (called Tawrrific) won the race. I was called to the principal’s office for playing up and she [the principal] couldn’t see me till the race was over,” Webber related.

“I told her that I was very happy and she wasn’t very impressed because her horse didn’t win,” he added.