The Danny O’Brien trained Vow And Declare scores a home town victory in the 2019 Group 1 $8m Lexus Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington today.

Vow And Declare, chestnut horse with orange and white colours, holds on to win the 2019 Melbourne Cup at Flemington.

Vow And Declare, chestnut horse with orange and white colours, holds on to win the 2019 Melbourne Cup at Flemington. Photo by Steve Hart.

In a blanket finish Vow And Declare held off Master Of Reality and Prince Of Arran to give jockey Craig Williams and Flemington trainer Danny O’Brien their first Melbourne Cup victories.

Williams let Vow And Declare stride up to join the leaders after jumping from barrier twenty-one and raced in the first three for the majority of the race.

Williams decided to stick to the fence in the straight and Vow And Declare fought hard to hold off all the challengers for a head win.

The winning move was in the run to the winning post the first time when Williams let Vow And Declare roll forward from the wide gate.

Winning trainer O’Brien said that he had given Williams no firm instructions and was happy to let him ride the race as it unfolded.

Fourth placed Il Paradiso ($15) was fourth across the line but stewards fired in a protest against the second placegetter Master Of Reality ($26) after there was some tightening over the concluding stages.

Stewards upheld the protest and the placings were changed to Prince Of Arran ($17) running second, Il Paradiso third and Master Of Reality being relegated to fourth.

“It is an amazing thing to happen. It is an amazing thing to have a horse good enough to have in it, and then to be ridden so beautifully by Craig,” O’Brien said.

“He wouldn’t give in and put his head out on the line and now we have won the Melbourne Cup.”

“I left it up to Craig and it has been the winning move. He is an outstanding jockey. He wasn’t afraid to try something different to what the map probably said and ultimately it has been the winning move.”

By the time the huge field had gone out of the straight for the first time, Williams had Vow And Declare in the box seat behind Hugh Bowman’s mount Twilight Payment.

Vow and Declare ($11) had a dream run after that and Williams stuck to the fence on the home turn as he surged to the front.

Frankie Dettori had Master Of Reality challenging four and five horses off the fence but the Joseph O’Brien trained stayer moved in onto Il Paradiso who made up plenty of ground from back in the field.

Runner up Prince Of Arran made it two Melbourne Cup placings in a row after finishing third to Cross Counter last year.

Finche was sent out as the $8.50 favourite and Kerrin McEvoy gave him every chance and after looming up in the straight ended up in seventh spot, only one and a half lengths from the winner and the Caulfield Cup winner Mer De Glace ($9.50) ran another good race to finish just in front of Finche.

2019 Melbourne Cup Results

Finish No. Horse Trainer Jockey Margin Bar. Weight Starting Price
1 23 VOW AND DECLARE Danny O’Brien Craig Williams 21 52kg $11
2 12 PRINCE OF ARRAN (GB) Charlie Fellowes Michael Walker 0.2L 8 54kg $17
3 20 IL PARADISO (USA) Aidan O’Brien Wayne Lordan 0.3L 17 52.5kg $15
4 3 MASTER OF REALITY (IRE) Joseph O’Brien Frankie Dettori 0.4L 1 55.5kg $26
5 18 SURPRISE BABY (NZ) Paul Preusker Jordan Childs 0.9L 20 53.5kg $12
6 2 MER DE GLACE (JPN) Hisashi Shimizu Damian Lane 1.2L 2 56kg $9.50
7 11 FINCHE (GB) Chris Waller Kerrin McEvoy 1.4L 4 54kg $8.50F
8 1 CROSS COUNTER (GB) Charlie Appleby William Buick 1.6L 5 57.5kg $13
9 21 STEEL PRINCE (IRE) Anthony Freedman Brett Prebble 2.1L 16 52.5kg $61
10 15 MAGIC WAND (IRE) Aidan O’Brien Ryan Moore 3.6L 24 53.5kg $26
11 10 TWILIGHT PAYMENT (IRE) Joseph O’Brien Hugh Bowman 3.8L 19 55kg $41
12 17 SOUND (GER) Michael Moroney James Winks 3.9L 10 53.5kg $91
13 19 CONSTANTINOPLE (IRE) David & B Hayes & T Dabernig Joao Moreira 4.1L 7 52.5kg $9.50
14 4 MIRAGE DANCER (GB) Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young Ben Melham 4.3L 13 55.5kg $51
15 6 HUNTING HORN (IRE) Aidan O’Brien Seamie Heffernan 4.5L 11 55kg $51
16 13 RAYMOND TUSK (IRE) Richard Hannon Jamie Spencer 5L 3 54kg $21
17 22 THE CHOSEN ONE (NZ) Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman Tim Clark 5.2L 18 52kg $31
18 7 LATROBE (IRE) Joseph O’Brien James McDonald 6.45L 22 55kg $21
19 5 SOUTHERN FRANCE (IRE) Ciaron Maher & David Eustace Mark Zahra 6.55L 14 55.5kg $26
20 24 YOUNGSTAR Chris Waller Tommy Berry 7.3L 9 52kg $31
21 16 NEUFBOSC (FR) David & B Hayes & T Dabernig Luke Nolen 8.3L 23 53.5kg $101
22 14 DOWNDRAFT (IRE) Joseph O’Brien John Allen 8.6L 15 53.5kg $21
23 8 MUSTAJEER (GB) Kris Lees Damien Oliver 10.85L 6 55kg $19
24 9 ROSTROPOVICH (IRE) David & B Hayes & T Dabernig Dwayne Dunn 40.85L 12 55kg $41

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.