It is one of the biggest annual events in the Australian sporting calendar and this year’s Melbourne Cup was no different. Jockey Brett Prebble and horse Green Moon took out the honours on Tuesday, claiming $6.2 million worth of prize money in the process.
106,000 turned out to see Green Moon as the surprise winner after starting at $20, coming in over the line ahead of Gai Waterhouse's import Fiorente ($31). Third place belonged to import Jakkalberry ($81).
The winning horse had been purchased from England with the specific intention of racing in the Melbourne Cup. The result was somewhat of a surprise; Green Moon raced very poorly in last week’s Cox Plate where he was favourite to win, instead finishing seventh.
Only two Aussie-bred horses raced, one of them, Ethiopia, finished last, 63 lengths behind Green Moon.
Three riders were suspended post-race; one included Ethiopia who was found guilty of shifting ground during the race’s early stages and will not be allowed to race again until November 19.
This year’s Cup featured some controversy when top Australian jockey Damien Oliver reportedly admitted to racing authorities that he bet on a rival horse in an incident two years ago. Three riders each under investigation rode on Tuesday.
The huge turnout was one of the biggest in Cup history while betting figures saw New South Wales produce a First 4 dividend of $1.4 million (a record) and Victoria fell just short of the million dollar mark.
The $175,000 Cup was presented by Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall.
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