A slow pace set by the leaders in the Group 1 $6m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington today gave favourite Fame Game little chance of figuring in the finish.
The Japanese stayer is a noted backmarker and needs plenty of speed on up front to allow him to finish over the top of the front runners.
Fame Game’s run in the Group 1 $3m BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield just over two weeks ago when he finishes strongly to run sixth saw the Yoshitada Munakata trained six year old sent out as the $5 favourite in today’s Melbourne Cup.
Zac Purton positioned Fame Game in his usual position near the tail of the field but he was unable to pick up the leaders and plugged away to finish in thirteenth spot, five and a half lengths behind the winner Prince Of Penzance.
“I’m quite disappointed by the result,” Munakata said.
“He was unable to get a great position in the first half of the race and with the slow pace he wouldn’t settle and was pulling quite a bit.”
Purton had a similar comment after the race that summed up the run.
“They just went too slow,” Purton said.
While Fame Game was out the back and out of contention, winning jockey Michelle Payne had the $101 outsider Prince Of Penzance travelling sweetly in a midfield position on the fence, saving plenty of ground.
Payne was able to work off the fence and into the clear shortly after entering the straight and gave Prince Of Penzance an uninterrupted run to the line to score a half a length win over English stayer Max Dynamite ($13) with Criterion ($19) running a brave race for third.