Australia 'Silly' that race should stop nation: Gai

12:07  06 november  2017
12:07  06 november  2017 Source:   MSN

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Australia's queen of racing , Gai Waterhouse, has rubbished calls to make the Melbourne Cup a national holiday. "It's the silliest thing I've ever heard in my life "I used to work in a Telecom building and inside the telephone exchange on Cup Day at 3pm, everything stopped dead," Colin added.

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Australia's queen of racing, Gai Waterhouse, has rubbished calls to make the Melbourne Cup a national holiday.

"It's the silliest thing I've ever heard in my life," the horse trainer told AAP at the annual Melbourne Cup parade.

"How do you think the country will stay afloat if everyone wants to take holidays?"

Waterhouse's comments follow calls by six-time Cup winner, Lloyd Williams, to make the first Tuesday of November a national holiday so all of Australia can enjoy the iconic race.

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But according to spectators at Monday's parade, most Australian's just take the day off anyway.

Jenny and Colin McCarthy from Sydney said they hadn't worked a Melbourne Cup day for more than 30 years, despite it not being a public holiday.

"There are a lot of sickies on Melbourne Cup day in Sydney," Jenny said.

"I used to work in a Telecom building and inside the telephone exchange on Cup Day at 3pm, everything stopped dead," Colin added.

"There would not be a single phone call as the horses ran."

Jenny Peabody, who travelled from Perth with her two best friends for the festivities, said everyone in WA clocked off come race time.

"Not very many people work on the Tuesday. Everyone has lunches, all the pubs are chock-a-block," she told AAP.

"They may as well make it a national day off."

Victorian Racing Minister Martin Pakula embraced the idea.

"The productivity around the country at 3.20pm is not that great anyway," he said.

"They might as well declare it a holiday and everyone can enjoy the wonders of the Melbourne Cup," he told reporters.

"It's unAustralian not to take Melbourne Cup day off, isn't it?" Melbourne Lord Mayor Robert Doyle added.

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