'It's nice to have Mamool back. It would be amazing if he could win,' says Dettori Frankie Dettori, the most recognisable face in world racing, jetted into Australia's southern capital yesterday hoping for a rainy Melbourne Cup day and was thrilled to learn his wish would be granted in today's A$4.6 million feature. Showers yesterday afternoon should be topped up with more this morning, with the rain predicted to intensify during the afternoon - a godsend for the high-quality international contingent who invariably prefer a more forgiving surface. Dettori, who finished second in the Melbourne Cup on Godolphin's Central Park in 1999, is at the ravenous end of the hunger scale after coming back, unsuccessfully, year after year since 1993 in search of the holy grail of southern hemisphere horse racing. 'It is one of the biggest races in the world. We'll have 120,000 people screaming,' Dettori said at Melbourne's Crown Casino for the traditional Call of the Card. 'I don't think there is any bigger stage in the world to race. It's unique. It's a race that stops a nation,' said Dettori, who first rode in the Melbourne Cup on ninth-placed Drum Taps, a long way behind Irish raider Vintage Crop. Dettori is banking on a last-to-first form turnaround from Godolphin's Mamool, who failed to beat a runner home as 11-2 favourite last year, pulling up sore on a firm track. This year, Mamool is a 30-1 shot as Sheikh Mohammed's elite racing stable, often called the Blue Army, also attempts to wrest the great race for the first time. 'It's nice to have him back,' Dettori said of Mamool, on whom he won a leg of the World Racing Series in Germany in September 2003. 'It would be amazing if he could win. I love the horse. If the rain comes it would improve his chances. You can sniff rain.' Godolphin's other representative in the 24-horse field is Razkalla, a 66-1 chance ridden by Australian Kerrin McEvoy, who won the 2000 Cup on Brew and has just completed his first year as the stable's number two jockey in Europe. Both are trained by Saeed bin Suroor. Dettori, 33, rode England-trained long shot Wilko to victory in the Breeder's Cup Juvenile (colts) at Lone Star Park in Texas on Saturday, before flying to Australia. The other person smiling as the dark clouds gathered was wily Irishman Dermot Weld, who has won the race twice with Vintage Crop (1993) and Media Puzzle (2002). Weld, a past master at the art of international travel with top-class thoroughbreds, made headlines around Australia yesterday with his threat, make that a promise, that topweight Vinnie Roe would be scratched on race morning if the track was too firm. 'I'm not looking for anything like a slow track for Vinnie Roe,' said Weld, who has made arrangements with racecourse manager Terry Watson to walk the circuit at 8am today. 'As I've said many times, all I want is a safe track.' A record crowd of 130,000 is predicted at Flemington if fine weather prevails, but they will still get close to 115,000 through the gates even if the forecasters get it right. Vinnie Roe, a folk hero in Ireland as the winner of the last four Irish St Leger Stakes, will also make modern Cup history if he wins - no topweight has won since Rising Fast completed the spring grand slam of Caulfield Cup, Cox Plate and Melbourne Cup 50 years ago. With Irish jockey Pat Smullen aboard, the stayer will carry 58 kilograms. Melbourne Cup day is a public holiday in the state of Victoria. Around the rest of Australia, many businesses close for several hours during the afternoon to hold or attend Cup parties. Even the federal Parliament stands still while the Melbourne Cup is run. Racetracks and off-track betting establishments at TAB agencies, pubs and clubs are packed - many with once-a-year bettors. That helps bring the Melbourne Cup gambling stakes for the day to around A$150 million.