In the months leading up to the Melbourne Cup, Launceston security guard Anthony Cook is usually busy hopping around Tasmania.
Cook has the important job of protecting Australia's greatest racing prize when it comes to the Apple Isle. It was a job which suited him perfectly, but that also came about by complete chance.
His security company received the contract to protect the cup, which travels all over the world before race day, and Cook was lucky enough to be selected for the job.
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Having been around racing and horses his entire life he said it was a dream come true.
"I've basically loved the Melbourne Cup ever since I was a kid ... the first year I was very, very nervous, but I have done it a couple of times since and I have relaxed into it," Cook said.
"The actual cup that goes round literally goes to the owner of the cup that year so you've got to protect it, because it is a very special part of Australian folklore and as a security guard if you lost the Melbourne Cup ... they'd make songs about how bad you were.
"You've got to take it seriously, but you're also promoting the actual Melbourne Cup itself so you want to be as friendly and as giving of yourself and the cup to people."
Cook said as a young man who grew up around horses in the Hunter Valley the job was a dream come true.
His role sees him act as an ambassador for the cup alongside his responsibilities as a security guard.
Due to the prestigious nature of the race everybody wants to get their picture taken with the cup.
And while most people are well behaved, Cook said he has had some interesting encounters.
He remembered one particular instance where a politician, who he declined to name, tried to grab the cup without wearing the proper gloves.
Cook said he sternly told the man that he would break his neck if he touched the cup.
But away from the glory of the cup, Cooks said it was the more human moments which he treasured most.
He said his favourite memory of working as the cup security guard was being able to raise money for Terry Roles - a horse trainer from Deloraine.
"He contracted [Motor Neuron Disease] and we took the cup out to Deloraine. Terry met us out there and it broke my heart talking to him," Cook said.
"So me and Greg Hall and Johnny Letts and a few members of the Trinder Family, from Devonport, quickly organised an ad hoc auction of racing memorabilia and we raised a fair bit of money [for him] at the Mowbray race track."
Although the COVID-19 pandemic prevented the cup travelling before the race this year, Cook is hoping it will come to visit Tasmania soon.
He said he hopes that with border restrictions easing the cup will be able to travel to all of its usual destinations across Australia.
"Honestly, they really don't need to pay me to do it anymore [because] I have that much fun," Cook said.
"Plus I have a couple of ex-jockeys who have ridden cup winners who come around with me ... and we actually have a really good time doing it."
The Melbourne Cup is Australia's largest horse racing event and is run annually on the first Tuesday of November.
The 2020 race was won by Twighlight Payment a horse trained by Joseph O'Brien.
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