THE octogenarians, trainer Bart Cummings and owner Dato Tan Chin Nam, took to the Cup press conference like a comedy act that had been on the road for years.
Were they having “a dry-off” with their attempts at humour after they had cemented themselves further into Melbourne Cup history?
Cummings has won the most Melbourne Cups and the 82 year-old Malaysian business tycoon is the most successful owner in history with four Cups.
Cummings also trained Dato’s other Cup winners, Think Big in 1974 and 1975 and Saintly in 1996.
Dato yesterday passed Lloyd Williams and Tony Santic, who have both had three winners.
In the 19th century, John Tait and Etienne De Mestre owned four Cup winners but they were also their trainers.
Asked what it was like to own so many Cup winners, Dato gave a reply Cummings would be proud of.
“I don’t mind it. It would be good if it continues,” he said.
The pair met in the 1970s in a bar in Adelaide and hit it off after playing a game of two-up in which Cummings said he was outplayed by Dato.
Dato said the two things in his life he placed alongside his family were horses and chess.
He sponsors the Australian Chess Grand Prix each year.