It’s a Fiver for Australia’s largest racehorse owner, Llyod Williams, whose first Melbourne Cup victory came 35 years ago. In a sporting finish to the most awaited horse-racing event of the year, Almandin pushed Heartbreak City in the final strides, even as Hartnell, the punters’ favorite looked all set to take away the crown.
Heartbreak it was for the two racehorses, as jockey Kerrin McEvoy rode Almandin to glory. This is the second time the 36-year old seasoned jockey has ridden a winner to the finishing line in the Melbourne Cup. In the 2000 Melbourne Cup, McEvoy rode Brew to victory. This time, Almandin, sired by the Champion Sire of the Germany, Monsun, galloped past the favorite horse in the last 400 meters, enthralling everyone in the stands.
Meanwhile, the second-placed Irish must be ruing its chances, despite a gallant ride from the Brazilian “Magic Man” Joao Moreira.
Witnessed by over 97,000 Victorians at the Flemington Racecourse, the event proved why Melbourne is the undisputed sporting capital of the world. Starting at $11.80, Almandin made the perfect dash to move to the front of the pack, which was for the major part of the race led by the Hartnell.
The Irish raider Heartbreak City was also up for the top rank, but the “injured” Almandin ran the race of its life to snatch A$3.6 million prize money at Flemington. Trained by Rob Hickmott, Almandin has had a fling of injuries leading up to the Melbourne Cup.
During the post-race ceremony, McEvoy acknowledges the training by Hickmott and the confidence placed by the Williams family made it possible for him to win with an underdog in the race, which had some of the most prolific thoroughbred racers including Australia’s very own Jamake. According to the BBC, it was a “dream come true” after 16 years for McEvoy, who left his pregnant wife in Sydney to run the race.
Before the race, The Guardian reported the influence of veteran trainer Tommy J. Smith on Australian horse-racing arena, acknowledged by Llyod Williams himself. The biggest disappointment of all was Jameka, who failed in its bid to repeat the performance from the Caulfield Cup, obviously bogged down to 15th position due to injuries and exhaustion.
Image Source: Flemington Racecourse/ Twitter