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The first race on the ten event card on the 2018 Melbourne Cup Day was run in heavy rain down the Flemington straight today.

Bella Rosa, above in blue and lime colours, wins the first race on Melbourne Cup Day at Flemington. Photo by Ultimate Racing Photos.

Bella Rosa, above in blue and lime colours, wins the first race on Melbourne Cup Day at Flemington. Photo by Ultimate Racing Photos.

The two year old fillies kicked off the day on a soft 6 surface but winning jockey Mark Zahra said that there was plenty of surface water on the track and visibility was very limited and the Flemington track was subsequently downgraded to a Heavy 8 after the running of the Group 3 $150,000 Bumble Stakes (1000m).

“The surface water is quite substantial,” Zahra said.

“Going up the straight I couldn’t see much, lucky I was had an uninterrupted run. The weather is obviously very bad.”

“It is close to an (heavy) 8 right now.

The Ciaron Maher and David Eustace trained Bella Rosa ($7.50) was able to handle the soggy conditions and score a nose win over Lankan Star ($9.50) with Champagne Boom ($3 favourite) a close up third.

Racing Victoria’s Chairman Of Stewards Robert Cram said that races two and three’s starting time have been put back but he is hoping that the Group 1 $7.3m Lexus Melbourne Cup (3200m) will be run at its advertised starting time of 3pm, Melbourne Time.

The Flemington track has received over 40mm of rain since 7.30 this morning but the weather is expected to clear by the time the Melbourne Cup is due to start.

About The Author

Mark Mazzaglia

Mark is a passionate journalist with a life-time involvement in the racing industry. He spent many years as an analyst and form expert at the Courier Mail and also has hands-on experience working with some of Queensland’s top trainers.