COVID or not, it’s still going to be a Super Melbourne Cup!

2020! What a year she has been! To think we started the year with bushfires and floods, and then shortly after that a pandemic. Life has certainly changed to a large degree for all of us. Working from home, not being able to travel and being barred from large social gatherings are just some of the things which can now be dubbed as ‘normal’. COVID-19 has certainly taken no prisoners and both my passions, superannuation and horse racing are no exceptions.

For superannuation, part of the Government’s response to handling the crisis, (which included good policy measures such as increasing JobSeeker and introducing JobKeeper), was to change one of the underlying fundamentals of our system of compulsory superannuation, being preservation, to allow for an early release of funds. This measure was appreciated by those who were under significant financial pressure as a result of the pandemic.

When it comes to horse racing, whilst thoroughbreds have continued to gallop, they have done so without crowds and with jockeys split up into regions due to strict bio-security measures. For racing fans, a day at the track turned into an afternoon at home watching the broadcast from the comfort of the loungeroom.

Which brings us to this year’s race.

In superannuation, two of the (inter-related) issues that we faced going into this year was members with multiple accounts and/or having under-performing funds. Thinking about these issues has forced a discussion about what does ‘good’ look like.

From a member’s perspective, a ‘good’ superannuation fund, may include the following features:

  • Strong investment returns consistent with ethical investing after fees and taxes.
  • An appropriate fiscal product in retirement.
  • Appropriate insurance having regard to the member’s industry.
  • Access to affordable advice.
  • Good governance.
  • A good member experience.

In reality, it is all these and probably more.

So, when looking at the Melbourne Cup field this year, what characteristics are consistent with identifying the Cup winner (or at least eliminating those that can’t win).

Some of these features include:

  • The ability to run a strong 3,200 metres (based either on breeding and/or previous outings).
  • Strong recent performances especially in important lead up races like the Caulfield Cup.
  • Weight the horse is asked to carry (weight for age is a good measure).
  • The ability to handle the track conditions (many horses struggle if the track is either too firm or too wet).
  • The skill of the jockey and trainer.
  • Barriers – although with the very long straight at Flemington this is less of an issue.

With this in mind, this year’s Super Melbourne Cup selections are:

1. Tiger Moth
2. Verry Elleegant
3. Prince of Arran
4. Russian Camelot

Hope you all have a Super Melbourne Cup. Happy punting and stay COVID safe!

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