Pedigree back to the first Cup race

By NERIDA BLOK

FAMILY heritage is behind Betty McPherson's pick in today's Melbourne Cup.

Betty's great-grandfather, Thomas Lamond, was associated with helping to train the legendary Archer, who won the first and second Melbourne Cups in 1861 and 1862.

"So I'd have to go with She's Archie," said Betty, of Goonellabah. "It reminds me of Archer."

Thomas Lamond was also credited with having trained 1881 cup winner Zulu.

A Melbourne Cup article in The Northern Star in 2001 by historian Margaret Henderson raised the mystery of Archer's ownership and motivated Betty to do her research.

"We'll never know how much Thomas did do with Archer. He was only 21," she said. "It's difficult to find factual information on those early Australian turf days."

Betty said it was once thought Archer walked to Melbourne from Sydney in 1861 and again the next year, but it was later revealed he went by ship.

"Archer was never going to win in '63," she said. "Melbourne people didn't want him to win a third time, so they put 71 kilos on him as a handicap."

However, proud of her family connections with Australia's most prestigious horse racing event, Betty said she never placed any bets.

"I don't have a flutter because it's the hardest race to pick," she said. "And I don't go to the races because I get too excited."



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