In such a tumultous year around the world, we are finally here - the 2020 Lexus Melbourne Cup at Flemington. Just a week ago, Melbourne was under a severe lockdown with horse racing one of the few activities able to continue. To its credit, racing throughout Australia has continued right through the pandemic with only minimal disruption to scheduling. That deserves an enormous round of applause and appreciation from the Australian punting public - the industry has been able to operate under tight Covid protocols with only a couple of minor scares, keeping thousands of people in work and tax revenue rolling in, saving the local economy from complete devastation with so many unable to work and needing financial assistance. However, the crowds, at least in Victoria are still yet to return. Timing is everything and it's too much of a political football to let owners back on course just yet while so many have suffered. They need to start with small trial events and progress from there.