The Lloyd Williams owned Almandin outstayed Irish horse Heartbreak City to win the 2016 Group 1 $6m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington today.
Jockey Kerrin McEvoy rode his second Melbourne Cup winner when he brought Almandin ($11) from back in the field to score a head win over Joao Moreira’s mount Heartbreak City ($10) with the $5.50 favourite Hartnell back in third spot.
McEvoy and Moreira both produced outstanding rides with the winner coming out of barrier seventeen and Heartbreak City coming out of gate twenty-three in the twenty-four horse field.
The John O’Shea trained Hartnell with James McDonald was the first of Godolphin’s five runners to salute the judge and after looking to be in the finish at the 300m, wound up just over four lengths behind the first two who away from the field to fight out the finish.
The Geelong Cup winner Qewy ($26), also from the Godolphin stable ran, ran on late to fill fourth spot.
McEvoy won his first Melbourne Cup on Brew in 2000 while Williams has now been to the winner’s stall on five occasion after winning previously with Just A Dash (1981), What A Nuisance (1985), Efficient (2007) and Green Moon in 2012 who was also trained by today’s winning trainer Robert Hickmott.
“He travelled well,” McEvoy said.
“The elation is unreal. He had been well prepared by Lloyd.”
“He won in October there and got into the race, he just gave him a nice little freshen up.”
“It’s great to be part of it again to win my second cup.”
Williams said in the lead up to the race that Almandin had beaten the handicapper and got in light and the 2kg advantage he had over the Heartbreak City proved the difference in the end.
The Team at Macedon Lodge have done a great job to get Almandin into the Melbourne Cup winner’s stall after the French import was out of action for eighteen months after suffering a tendon injury and Williams said the win was very satisfying.
“It is high on the agenda,” Williams said.
“This horse had a tendon. The boys have patched him, they have done a fabulous job getting this horses back.”
“We have great staff up there and Rob Hickmott leads that staff. It is super what they have done with him.”
The Lexus Stakes winner Oceanograher ($9) was never in the race and was reported to have pulled up lame in the off fore leg while Rose Of Virginia who dropped out to finish a long last, was galloped on on her right hind leg.
Nick Hall gave Caulfield Cup winner Jameka ($8.50) a beautiful run midfield but after easing her out on the home turn to give her a clear run to the line, the Ciaron Maher trained mare failed to run on and wound up in fifteen position, fourteen lengths behind the winner.