DRAMA; 1hr 46min
STARRING: Stephen Curry, Brendan Gleeson, Daniel MacPherson
Winners are grinners: Curry
If racing is indeed the sport of kings, jockey Damien Oliver (Curry) was its crown prince in 2002. Gearing up for the Melbourne Cup, Oliver trains like an athlete and rides like a dream for Irish trainer Dermot Weld (Gleeson). The cup’s stakes are stellar and Oliver, as chipper as Jiminy Cricket, takes them in stride in a luxe life writ large. But then, the week before the big race, his older brother and fellow jockey, Jason (MacPherson), is killed in a race fall that eerily echoes their father’s death in 1975.
What follows is modern history: although all but immobilised by grief, Oliver rides to victory in his brother’s silks. The treatment of his trial by fire from Phar Lap director Simon Wincer is as literal as the film’s title, telling the emotion-charged tale like it was with the warmth and respect it warrants. The Cup is a must for track-and-field nuts with in-amongst-it camera work as the horses go hell for leather, and a shared victory for a fresh-scrubbed Curry, who does Damien Oliver proud, in the saddle and out.