On Cup Day,
someone has to make a goose of himself, and yesterday it was the
Governor-General: or, as he calls himself, “His Excellency Major
General Michael Jeffery, AC, CVO, MC (Retd).” We think that last bit
means “retired.” Not since John Kerr got drunk and put on his silly Top
Hat in 1976 has a GG tried to make himself the centre of attention at
Flemington.

Jeffery thought the day was all about him – a
vice-regal relic who seems to enjoy the limelight almost as much as
spending taxpayers’ money. It was revealed in Parliament yesterday
that his 12 day jaunt to Britain and Singapore last year cost us a lazy
$130,000.

We wish we’d taken Tony Santic’s lead and quit while
we were on top yesterday, so we don’t have many working braincells this
morning. But to quote Jason Koutsoukis in today’s Age: “Can anyone remember a single word of Jeffrey’s speech? How many people actually know who he is?”

As
soon as Jeffrey started banging on about 1788 and all that, we tuned
right out and went back to the bar. In terms of intelligent
understanding of the moment – and pure class – the words and conduct of
trainer Lee Freedman and the horse’s colourful owner, Santic, left the
GG for dead.

Freedman revealed yesterday why he’s the nation’s
top trainer. For those seeking more information about the Freedman
Clan, Charlie Happell’s Saturday piece in the Age analysing the ups and downs of the FBI racing empire is pretty good: The Freedman revival.

If anyone is interested in what the GG said, check out his website. Sadly, the speech isn’t up yet.