Locally-trained outsider Green Moon won the 152nd running of the A$6.2 million ($6.5 million) Melbourne Cup, upstaging international horses who were favored to take Australia’s richest race.
Prepared by Robert Hickmott and ridden by Brett Prebble, Green Moon won the 3,200-meter (2-mile) handicap at Flemington Racecourse by a length ahead of fellow Australian-trained stayer Fiorente to claim the A$3.6 million first prize. U.K.-trained Jakkalberry finished third.
“I’ve had some great highs and you think you can never get any higher until you reach the pinnacle,” Prebble, who flew in from Hong Kong for the race, said in a televised interview. “At 1,200 I knew nothing could go with him if he sustained the journey. I was very confident they weren’t going to pick him up and he ran all the way through to the wire.”
Purchased by Australian property developer Lloyd Williams last year and formerly trained in the U.K., Green Moon won a race that bookmakers had expected to be dominated by horses trained in Europe. It was Williams’s fourth Melbourne Cup winner and the first since Efficient in 2007.
French-trained runners Americain and Dunaden, who won the past two editions, finished out of the top 10 after starting the 24-horse race as the joint favorites. Third-favorite Mount Athos, trained in England by Luca Cumani, finished fifth.
“We nearly fell after the start,” Dunaden’s jockey Craig Williams said, after last year’s winner finished 14th carrying the top weight of 59 kilograms. “Slow pace, big weight.”
Tabcorp Holdings Ltd., Australia’s largest racecourse betting company, paid A$22.50 locally for a winning A$1 bet and A$7.40 for a top-three place on Green Moon. Fiorente paid A$11.80 for a place and Jakkalberry returned A$16 for finishing third.
Although the first two past the post were trained in Australia, both were previously based in England. With Kelinni running fourth ahead of Mount Athos, Glencadam Gold and Mourayan, the first seven finishers were born in Ireland, according to Racing Victoria.
Green Moon, which finished seventh in last month’s Cox Plate after starting that race as the favorite, went past longtime leader Glencadam Gold with about 300 meters to go and stayed ahead down the finishing straight.
It was Prebble’s first win in the Melbourne Cup, billed in Australia as the race that stops a nation. His previous best was third place aboard the Williams-raced C’est La Guerre in 2008.
“I’ve been riding a long time now and I’ve had plenty of opportunities but finally it was my turn,” added Prebble, 35.
The 18-carat gold trophy was presented by the Duchess of Cornwall, the wife of the U.K.’s Prince Charles, to Williams’s son Nick, who was representing the family at the track.
“It’s another Melbourne Cup for team Williams,” Nick Williams said at the presentation. “We put a lot of money in and a heck of a lot of effort and to get this result is terrific. This is what we bought him for and this has been the plan.”
2012 Melbourne Cup Finishing Order ================================== 1 GREEN MOON 2 FIORENTE 3 JAKKALBERRY 4 KELINNI 5 MOUNT ATHOS 6 GLENCADAM GOLD 7 MOURAYAN 8 RED CADEAUX 9 PRECEDENCE 10 MY QUEST FOR PEACE 11 AMERICAIN 12 CAVALRYMAN 13 VOILA ICI 14 DUNADEN 15 NIWOT 16 LIGHTS OF HEAVEN 17 WINCHESTER 18 SANAGAS 19 MALUCKYDAY 20 GALILEO’S CHOICE 21 UNUSUAL SUSPECT 22 ZABEELIONAIRE 23 TAC DE BOISTRON 24 ETHIOPIA