Green Moon wins Melbourne Cup
MELBOURNE (AFP) –
Australian-trained Green Moon produced a powerful finish to beat off a strong foreign contingent and win the Melbourne Cup on Tuesday after the race build-up was overshadowed by a betting scandal.
Ridden by Hong Kong-based Australian jockey Brett Prebble and trained by Robert Hickmott, Green Moon (19-1) finished one length clear of another Australian-trained runner Fiorente (30-1) in Australia’s two-miler.
Third-placed Jakkalberry (80-1), trained at Newmarket by Italian-born Marco Botti, flew the flag for the eight foreign raiders trying to lift the biggest prize in Australian racing in the Aus$6 million ($6.2 million) event.
It was one the strongest international fields to contest the Melbourne Cup in its 152nd year with Prince Charles and his wife Camilla among the huge crowd.
A betting scandal overshadowed the build-up after top jockey Damien Oliver, riding one of the favourites Americain, reportedly admitted putting money on a rival horse in a race in 2010.
The two-time winner at Flemington wagered Aus$10,000 and expected to be charged soon, Fairfax Media said.
Fairfax said sources close to the champion jockey confirmed he admitted last month to breaching the rules of racing by betting on rival horse Miss Octopussy, which won a race two years ago at Melbourne’s Moonee Valley.
Oliver, competing in the same race, finished sixth.
Publicly, Oliver has refused to deny placing the bet and Fairfax said there were serious questions about why he had been allowed to continue riding and why he had not been charged by stewards.
Prebble flew in from Hong Kong to drive Green Moon to the front halfway down the long Flemington straight for his first Cup win.
The four main international hopes – Mount Athos (5th), Red Cadeaux (8th), Americain (11th) and last year’s winner and 6-1 favourite Dunaden (14th) could not finish in the top four.
“It’s my life dream to do it,” jockey Prebble said.
“I was never going to get beat. I got a severe check 250 metres after the start and it put me back on the fence and he was on and off the bridle.
“I was very confident they weren’t going to pick him up — he ran all the way through to the wire.”
Green Moon is an imported Irish-bred stayer who has been racing under Hickmott in Australia since August last year. The Melbourne Cup was his seventh win in 20 starts.
The win gave well-known Australian owner/breeder Lloyd Williams his fourth Melbourne Cup success. His previous winners were Just a Dash, What a Nuisance and Efficient.
Fiorente was the third Cup runner-up for Sydney trainer Gai Waterhouse, who previously trained Te Akau Nick (1993) and Nothin’ Leica Dane in 1995.
The global Goldolphin stable’s sole runner Cavalryman (30-1) and ridden by Frankie Dettori finished 12th.
Godolphin has finished second in the race three times after Crime Scene was pipped by Shocking in 2009 to join Central Park (1999) and Give The Slip (2001) as the stable’s runners-up.