Almandin has won the 2016 Melbourne Cup, edging Heartbreak City in a thrilling finish to the famous race at Flemington.
With Kerrin McEvoy on board, Almandin – paying $11.80 to win and $4.40 the place with the TAB – became owner Lloyd Williams’ fifth Melbourne Cup winner.
The Rob Hickmott-trained horse surged down the outside at Flemington and just did enough to hold off Heartbreak City in an exciting one-two battle.
Watch the closing stages below
— FlemingtonRacecourse (@FlemingtonVRC) November 1, 2016
Pre-race favourite Hartnell ran third and fellow Godolphin horse Qewy was fourth.
But all the spoils went to Team Williams and McEvoy was elated afterwards.
“How lucky am I. The elation … this is typical of Lloyd,” McEvoy told Channel 7.
“He knows what to do with these staying races. I’d like to thank Lloyd and Rob Hickmott for giving me a chance.
“It’s a dream come true … [this] is just a great buzz. I’m very lucky and privileged to win a second Melbourne Cup.
“And it’s great to do it for Mr Williams and his family.”
Williams hailed trainer Hickmott after the victory.
“It’s quite emotional,” he told Channel 7.
“The boys have done a fabulous job getting this horse back [after injury].
“We’ve got great staff and Rob Hickmott leads that. Super what they’ve done with it – absolutely super.”
The moment the Cup was won
— Susannah Guthrie (@susguthrie) November 1, 2016
Almandin headed into the Melbourne Cup on the back of victories at Caulfield and Flemington but had never run over 2500m.
He proved that distance was no issue, though, making it a hat-trick of wins in superb fashion.
Heartbreak City’s star jockey Joao Moreira, first to congratulate McEvoy after their exciting battle concluded, said he would go back to Hong Kong with his head held high.
“He tried 120 per cent and obviously I’m very proud of the horse,” he told Channel 7.
“Unfortunately I couldn’t win on him today but I’m not going home disappointed or upset.”
Hartnell could not go with the front two but still showed why he is such an excellent horse and punters who backed Qewy at big odds could consider themselves unlucky after the Geelong Cup winner finished fourth.
2. Heartbreak City
5. Who Shot Thebarman
7. Beautiful Romance
10. Big Orange
11. Grand Marshal
13. Bondi Beach
14. Grey Lion
16. Excess Knowledge
17. Our Ivanhowe
18. Sir John Hawkwood
21. Secret Number
22. Wicklow Brave
23. Curren Mirotic
24. Rose of Virginia
Earlier in the day
Jennifer Lynn stormed down the outside to win the Lexus Hybrid Plate (Race 6) over 1400m at big odds.
The Darren Weir-trained horse paid $13.80 and $4.10, edging Prompt Response and Invincibella in a close finish.
Star jockey Joao Moreira started his day in excellent fashion, winning Race 1 on Invincible Star, while Ryan Moore – winner of the 2014 Melbourne Cup on Protectionist – won Race 3 with Kinema.
Other winners in the early races were Sort After (Race 2), Demonstrate (Race 4) and Speedeor (Race 5).