A perfect ride by Damien Oliver on Fiorente was rewarded with a third Melbourne Cup victory for the champion jockey, combining with Gai Waterhouse for her first.
Waterhouse masterminded today’s win in the Group 1 $6m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington after Fiorente ran second in the famous race twelve months ago.
And then Waterhouse brought the plan together by booking the two time Melbourne Cup winning jockey who put the finishing touches on in an outstanding fashion.
Fiorente was always at the top of the market order and was sent out the $7 favourite in a wide betting race denying English stayer Red Cadeuax ($61) a win at his third attempt at Flemington.
The Luca Cumani trained Mount Athos ($13) ran another bold race and slugged it out for third after finishing fifth to Green Moon last year after a horrid run.
Mount Athos had a little bit more luck this year but was still caught wide at different stages of the race and Craig Williams had to make a couple of runs on the seven year old before he fought on in the straight to finish two and quarter lengths from the winner.
Red Cadeaux also put in a gigantic effort to be beaten three quarters of a length to collect his second runner’s up cheque after being beaten a nose by Dunaden in 2011.
The Ed Dunlop trained eight year old finished eighth last year to Green Moon and the Newmarket trainer might have to reconsider Red Cadeaux’s plans for retirement to try and claim a Melbourne Cup victory next year.
Fourth placegetter Simenon ($20) ran on stoutly for fourth with Caulfield Cup runner up Dandino ($10) flashing home again, running out the 3200m okay.
Caulfield Cup winner Fawkner ($16) was set a big task with jockey Nick Hall electing to settle at the tail of the field and then was forced wide on the home turn before running on to finish a creditable sixth.
Stablemates Sea Moon ($11) and last year’s Melbourne Cup winner Green Moon ($31), who pulled up lame in front, were never winning chances finishing thirteenth and twenty-first respectively.
The Tom Dascombe trained Brown Panther ($20) ran a brave race to finish eighth after getting galloped on during the race and is heading back to the Werribee International Horse Centre to get treated while French mare Verema ($17) broke down at the 2000m and had to be euthanized.
Winning jockey Damien Oliver made it three Melbourne Cup wins adding today’s victory to Doriemus’ win in 1995 and his memorable win on Media Puzzle in 2002.
“I can’t tell you what a great thrill it gives me to be involved in the first Melbourne Cup win for Gai. We all know what she has done for racing in Australia and no-one deserves this more than she does,” Oliver said after the race.
Waterhouse was over the moon winning her first Melbourne Cup and was quick to praise her husband Robbie who picked Fiorente out while he was racing in England.
“He’s the best judge, the best form student and his major involvement in finding this horse can’t be under-estimated,” Waterhouse said.
“I wouldn’t be where I am today without him.”
“He arrived 12 months ago, ran second in the Cup at his first start here, and not once has he ever let us down.”
“He’s a gorgeous horse with a huge heart and spectacular ability.”