I guess it's because to me it shouldn't be at the top level of racing, which it is over here.
I don't consider myself to be a punter, I bet occasionally, but from a very young age I fell in love with horse racing and it had nothing to do with betting and winning money. Hell, when I first fell in love with it, I was far too young to even bet, I guess it was the theatre of it that drew me in. Dulcify and The King are a big part of what drew me in with the Cox Plate. Too young to bet, too young to understand or worry about how the track at MV plays it's part, but not too young to go 'Wow' and be hooked.
The Cup, well it's an institution and I can remember as far back as being in primary school and watching the King get beat in 1982 by Gurners Lane, and in my last year in primary school getting Black Knight in the cup sweep in 84. I just loved racing, only started to bet in 88 when I got my brother in law to place one for me when we were there at Flemington on Empire Rose. That just made it more fun. 1990 I was still only 17 so got my sister to put a bet on me on Sydeston in the Caulfield Cup that year, and again, was happy that he won. And I kept backing him in every race after that, regardless, because I loved the horse.
I'm not a punter because for one, I hate losing money so I never bet a lot, just small amounts and only the main races at Spring Racing carnival time. And so rarely on horses at short odds because I don't see the point if you are betting a small amount. For me, it just adds a bit more excitement to it when watching the race, but I'm the type of person that stands up and claps and cheers what I consider to be great moments of racing, despite the fact I had no money on the horse and the one I did back fell back through the field on the corner. Like when the Diva won her third cup, anytime Black Caviar raced (irrespective of how they never really tested her aside from the Ascot foray), Media Puzzle, even Atlantic Jewel recently when she returned from injury. I just love racing.
Bringing that back to why do I hate handicap racing? Because I believe that in racing, the best horses should win. And to me, to have horses the same age or above four years of age racing against each other, and to give one 8 kilos more than the other, just because it's a better quality horse with a better race record, and then to have the inferior horse with the lesser weight win and beat the quality horse? That to me is just stupid. It's rewarding horses of lesser quality, and punishing horses of quality and that are, or could be champions.
It's not so bad now, but look at what they did to Phar Lap? How many Melbourne Cups might he have won, if the powers that be hadn't decided to weigh him completely out of the race after he won his first Cup?
As you say, maybe handicap racing has some place in racing, but definitely at the lower levels. It's why our really great horses are forced to restrict themselves to racing only at WFA. In a handicap they would be unfairly weighted out of it to horses that are not even at their level.
Europe or the UK at least seem to have it worked out right. Correct me if I'm wrong, but their handicap races are never at group level. The group races are run at either WFA or set weights?
And for me, that is exactly how it should be.
Sorry for the long winded explanation.
EDIT: To illustrate the point, and to enter fantasy land, but say for example if Frankel was entered and ran in the Emirates Stakes, what sort of weight would he get allocated, and would you want a horse like Like Bolt with 52kg on his back beating him due to the weight difference??