Tomorrow’s race (crossposted at Crooked Timber)
As usual before the first Tuesday in November, Australians are closely studying the papers, trying to predict the winner in tomorrow’s race, and planning the well-lubricated parties that are essential as we wait for the results. A critical question here, and one that has been the subject of vigorous debate, is whether betting markets are efficient predictors. While some have argued strongly in favor of the markets recently, long-standing Australian tradition holds that they are utterly unreliable. There’s also a lot of debate about whether the whole turnout may be affected by the weather, and if so, in whose favour.
The level of interest is so high that the event is almost impossible to avoid. Even those who are completely apathetic have found it easier to pick an allegiance at random than to admit to not caring one way or the other.
Work will stop around the nation as we try to digest the results, and the champagne. Victorians, who take all matters of this kind more seriously than other Australians, will take the entire day off.
Update 2/11 A triumph for the betting markets, as the favorite Makybe Diva came home on the inside, the first mare to win two successive Cups. I managed a successful arbitrage on the office Calcutta buying the favorite for $25 in a pool of over $150, as opposed to market odds of 5/1 or less.
fn1. This is mainly intended as a mild leg-pull for the international audience at CT, but I thought I’d post it here as well.