By ANN-MARIE MAY
YESTERDAY was an important day for Jim and Margaret Kelly.
In the silence of their room at the Coffs Harbour Nursing Centre, they took to the serious business of deciding what to do with their money.
Sitting at separate ends of the room, Mrs Kelly wrote down her plans, while Mr Kelly did the same. And then they compared.
"I'm going to have Eye Popper for first," Mr Kelly said.
Mrs Kelly then reveals that she too is putting her money on the Japanese stayer.
"But it's not because he said. I picked him before," Mrs Kelly said.
Both have the same reasons.
"He had a fantastic run in the Caulfield Cup so I'm sticking with him. I'm not saying he's going to win, but I'm sticking with him," Mrs Kelly said.
Staying away from the public favourite, Makybe Diva, the pair also agree that Lachlan River is a good place bet, Mr Kelly for third and Mrs Kelly for second, but have different opinions on who will make up the top three.
Mr Kelly thinks the form of Railings is good enough to get him across the line in the top three while Mrs Kelly likes the look of Mr Celebrity.
"Why do you have him?" Mr Kelly asks.
"Because he is trained by Gai Waterhouse," Mrs Kelly replies.
Mr Kelly is happy with that answer, nodding why he takes another look at the form guide, perhaps thinking about changing his mind.
Making their bets for the Melbourne Cup has become a yearly tradition for the couple who 'once upon a time' followed the horse races closely.
But as the year's passed and once they moved into the nursing home they reserve their punting skills only for the 'race that stops the nation'.
So at 3pm today, Mr and Mrs Kelly will join their fellow residents in cheering home their horse before putting away the form guide for another year.