Oldest living Melbourne Cup winner turns 32

Life in retirement is pretty good for 1981 Melbourne Cup winner Just A Dash, who celebrates his 32nd birthday today.He has a paddock at Willow Dene stud near Dapto, shared with a couple of young colts, with a view over Lake Illawarra and off to the Pacific Ocean in the distance.It's perfect for whiling away the days and remembering past glories - especially one November day at Flemington.Today will be nothing out of the ordinary for Just A Dash - just another day - with all horses turning another year older on August 1 in Australia.Willow Dene master Stephen Hill said every year is special for the oldest living Melbourne Cup winner, who is well into his 100s in human terms."He's been here for 20-odd years and he's like one of the family," he said."We love him but he's getting a lot older now and for any horse to get over 30 is incredible."We just try and make his life as easy as possible, feed him twice a day and make sure he's rugged up. He has as good a life as we can give him."The horse's birthday is standardised to August 1 in the Southern Hemisphere to match the racing and breeding seasons.Foals around the country will be born over the next couple of months but will all turn one on August 1 next year.The new racing season opens with a meeting at Kembla Grange today.

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