Almandin wins the 2016 Melbourne Cup

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The Lloyd Williams-owned Almandin has won the Melbourne Cup, coming in ahead of Heartbreak City and with favourite Hartnell in third place.

More than 100,000 attended Flemington Racecourse for the Melbourne Cup to watch Kerrin McEvoy ride Almandin to victory.

Lloyd Williams has become the most successful owner of Melbourne Cup winners with Almandin claiming Australia's greatest horse race.

Almandin overcame a potent international challenge to beat the Irish stayer Heartbreak City with Hartnell taking the minor placing.

The seven-year-old gelding, trained by Australian Robert Hickmott, emerged at the final turn to haul in Heartbreak City in the gruelling two-mile handicap.

It gave owner Lloyd Williams his fifth Melbourne Cup in the race's 156th running and jockey Kerrin McEvoy his second after his win on Brew in 2000.

"Jeez, he travelled well," McEvoy, the brother-in-law of last year's winner, Michelle Payne, said from the saddle.

"How lucky am I, mate? The elation is just unreal.

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"Just a dream, mate, to win my second Cup. It's just a dream come true. I love these staying races, I love the Melbourne Cup."

Heartbreak City finished second and favourite Hartnell, one of five entrants from Godolphin, finished third, continuing the frustrations of the powerful stable owned by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

Godolphin have entered horses into the Cup since 1998 for the return of only three runner-up finishes.

The race also welcomed some of Australia's biggest celebrities to the exclusive Birdcage enclosure.

Elsa Pataky, Chris Hemsworth's wife and a successful actress and model in her own right, was one of the biggest stars at the marquees.

American entertainment personality Maria Menounos will also make her final Cup carnival appearance.

Australia's 2016 Eurovision entry Dami Im will perform the national anthem ahead of the big race.

The Melbourne Cup is also one of the biggest for the fashion stakes.

Heartbreak City puts up brave Cup effort

Irish trainer Tony Martin could not hide his delight at the performance of Heartbreak City at his first attempt at the Melbourne Cup.

Ridden by Hong Kong-based Joao Moreira, Heartbreak City was beaten a long head by Almandin in Tuesday's race at Flemington.

"It's agonising to be chinned that little, but what a performance," Martin said.

"I couldn't be any prouder of the horse.

"To be so close, it was a magic performance all round.

"Hopefully we'll be back next year."

Martin said what he wanted to see from Moreira was for Heartbreak City to avoid any bad luck.

He said there was plenty of speed but possibly in the final stages Heartbreak City had failed to see out the journey.

"I thought we were there in the straight," Martin said.

"He fought the other horse off once but couldn't do it a second time.

"There was plenty of speed. We wouldn't want to be going any further in a race like that, maybe back a furlong or two, in hindsight."

Martin said the ownership group had thoroughly enjoyed their first Melbourne Cup but there was one person missing, George Swan, who bought into Heartbreak City after Martin claimed the horse in France.

Swan was diagnosed with cancer in August last year before dying three months later.

"There's only one man that I'm unhappy for and that's the man looking down, George Swan," Martin said.

Jockey Kerrin McEvoy on Almandin (left) wins as he races with Heartbreak City, ridden by Joao Moreira, at the finish line in the Melbourne Cup.
Jockey Kerrin McEvoy on Almandin (left) wins as he races with Heartbreak City, ridden by Joao Moreira, at the finish line in the Melbourne Cup.
AAP

Facts and figures on Cup winner Almandin

Everything you need to know about 2016 Melbourne Cup winner Almandin.

  • The seven-year-old gelding won the Melbourne Cup at his 12th start. It was Almandin's fifth career win.
  • Out of four-time champion German stallion Monsun who also sired past Cup winners Protectionist (2014) and Fiorente (2013).

Owners

  • Bought by influential owner Lloyd Williams in June 2014. He then syndicated the horse with music promoter Michael Gudinski, Sydney businessman and thoroughbred owner John Ingham, Quicksilver founder Alan Green, Rip Curl's Brian Singer and construction bosses Vin Sammartino and Phil Mehrten.

Lead up

  • Beat subsequent Cup winner Protectionist in the Group Two Unternehmer Stakes at his final German start in June 2014.
  • Had an extended spell due to a tendon issue.
  • Finished sixth in first Australian run in June 2016 over 1600m. Followed up with two more unplaced efforts.
  • Won the Listed Harry White Classic (2400m) at Caulfield on September 24.
  • Won the Group Three Bart Cummings (2500m) at Flemington on October 2 to qualify for the Cup.
  • Given a 30-day let-up before winning the Cup on November 1.

Godolphin to keep trying for Cup win

Locally-trained Hartnell has finished best of the five Godolphin runners in the Melbourne Cup, with the favourite finishing third at Flemington.

Sheikh Mohammed's quest to win the Melbourne Cup will have to wait another year but Godolphin's chief executive insists they will keep trying to win Australia's greatest race.

The global racing operation had five runners in Tuesday's race at Flemington from three different stables and two hemispheres, with local John O'Shea-trained Hartnell leading home the Godolphin runners in third.

The Charlie Appleby-trained Geelong Cup winner Qewy ran what his English trainer described as a career best to finish fourth with the Saeed bin Suroor-trained Beautiful Romance next best in seventh.

Sheikh Mohammed has been trying to win the race for almost 30 years and Hartnell's third was the owner's sixth placing in the race which includes three seconds.

Despite not winning, Godolphin's chief executive John Ferguson said they were "absolutely delighted" with how the team had performed.

"From every perspective, Hartnell's run a blinder," Ferguson said.

"He's come into the straight full of running and hasn't quite got home.

"Qewy, after his Geelong Cup win has stepped up again and ran an absolute blinder to finish fourth. So we're absolutely thrilled with them.

"Secret Number was a bit too keen. Oceanographer didn't back up. Chad (Schofield) said he was a bit flat. And the mare (Beautiful Romance) stumbled coming out of the gates.

"Overall, to finish third and fourth is tremendous and from every angle the Sheikh has had a great season and Charlie bringing a team over for the first time has been huge for us.

"We always believed we could come and be competitive. And it's great that it's happened. And it's something we'll continue to do."

Ferguson described the Melbourne Cup as the most enjoyable race of the year to be a part of and said for a number of reasons Sheikh Mohammed loves the race.

"The Melbourne Cup, we'll keep trying to win it," Ferguson said.

"It's a tough race to win and that's what makes it so special.

"It used to be the race that stopped a nation, now it's the race that stops the racing world."

MP appearance and tips

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has turned heads at the Melbourne Cup, sporting a classy black look.

Ms Bishop arrived with her partner David Panton outside the Emirates Marquee on Tuesday, wearing a black Hugo Boss dress with coloured details and a black wide brimmed hat with netting.

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and partner David Panton pose for a photograph at the Emirates marquee on Melbourne Cup Day at Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne, Tuesday. Nov. 1, 2016. (AAP Image/Julian Smith) NO ARCHIVING, EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and partner David Panton pose for a photograph at the Emirates marquee on Melbourne Cup Day at Flemington Racecourse.
AAP

Surprisingly, Ms Bishop placed her Armani black coat on the ground while she was posing for photos, and told the waiting media she is tipping Assign it the big race.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said he had taken an each-way bet for the day.

"I'm tipping Hartnell after the win at the Turnbull Stakes, and as the member for Wentworth, I'll also back Bondi Beach," he tweeted.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said as a former union rep for jockeys, stable hands and ground staff and he loved the people part of racing.

He had tipped Jameka in the morning papers but was second-guessing himself after speaking with Triple M radio host Emma Freedman, the daughter of five-time Cup winning trainer Lee.

"Lloyd Williams has got a lot of horses and Almandin's running, and this just shows you what a mug punter I am - (I like) its colours. It's got a bit of red, a bit of white, a bit of blue and it reminds me of the Western Bulldogs," he told Triple M.

 

Source: AAP

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