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2016 Melbourne Cup Day at Flemington Racecourse

horse racing
Winning owner Lloyd Williams kisses the Melbourne Cup trophy.
Date: 11/01/2016

The $6 million Emirates Melbourne Cup (G1) is famous as the "race that stops a nation". Celebrating its 156th renewal this year, 97,479 fans packed the historic stands and apron of Flemington Racecourse on the first Tuesday in November for this 3200 meter (about 2 mile) contest for older horses under handicap weights. Conditions were excellent, with overcast skies and a high temperature of 18 C (64 F). Turnbull Stakes (G1) winner Hartnell was sent off as the 9-2 choice in the full field of 24 off his second place finish in the Cox Plate (G1) at Moonee Valley. In to challenge him included 7-1 second choice Jameka, winner of the Caulfield Cup (G1), the main local prep for the Melbourne Cup, and 8-1 third choice Oceanographer, winner of the Lexus Stakes (G3) run on Saturday at Flemington.
horse racing
The entire field of 24 heads down the stretch in the Melbourne Cup.

60-1 Excess Knowledge set the pace for the first mile under jockey Vlad Duric while pressed by Assign and stalked by Curren Mirotic. After 1 1/4 mile Secret Number, 12th early, moved up to gain the front and continued to lead to the 3/8 pole before tiring. Hartnell, 13th early, moved up on the turn to gain the front at the 1/4 pole before Heartbreak City, 15th early, rallied to make the lead at the 3/16 pole. Almandin, 16th early under jockey Kerrin McEvoy, collared Heartbreak City at the 1/8 pole and outfinished him to win by a head in 3:20.58 over the course rated "Good 4". It was another 4 1/4 lengths back to Hartnell third.
horse racing

Pgm  Horse              Jockey            Win   Place  Show
17   Almandin           McEvoy          21.80   11.60  7.90
13   Heartbreak City    Moreira                  7.40  6.40
 6   Hartnell           McDonald                       5.10

Winning Time:  3:20.58

$2 Quinella 13-17           176.00
$1 Exacta 17-13             162.05
$1 Trifecta 17-13-6       1,270.00
$1 Superfecta 17-13-6-23 64,561.85
Results chart

horse racinghorse racingLeft: Almandin in the winner's enclosure. Winning owner Lloyd Williams, celebrating his record fifth Melbourne Cup, said, "I am a proud Melburnian and it means so much to win this race again. Robbie Hickmott (trainer), Malcolm McLaren (racing manager), our vet Dr Luke Campbell and all the team have done a magnificent job with this horse and Kerrin gave him a magnificent ride. The horse had a tendon injury after we bought him from Germany (in 2014) and it's been an amazing effort to get him winning a Melbourne Cup. He's a very brave horse, he's fought through the pain barrier and I'm very proud of him."

Right: Almandin with his new winner's blanket. Trainer Robert Hickmott said, "I thought his win last start was excellent and he looked well suited here at the weights. He has done so well in the last three weeks and he was really brave there. Great ride from Kerrin and a reward for all the team at home and the hard work they put in - I wouldn't be here without them. Lloyd is a great mentor and I learn something from him every day."

horse racinghorse racing
Left: Almandin warms up before the race. Winning jockey Kerrin McEvoy said, "The elation is unreal, it's just a dream. It's great to be a part of it again and to win my second Cup. I love these staying races, I love the Melbourne Cup - there's no other race like it. You win one and you just want to win another one. They just keep getting better. He travelled like an Oakleigh Plater for me to the turn and when I put it to him in the straight he dug deep for me and savaged the line."

Right: First time by with Excess Knowledge and Curren Mirotic out front.

horse racinghorse racingLeft: Second place finisher Heartbreak City warms up. Jockey Joao Moreira said, "Fantastic run but unfortunately, we didn't win the race. Turning for home I thought we were going to win as I went past Hartnell easily but when I looked on my outside McEvoy had (Almandin) full of himself as well and went for a battle. My horse tried as best as he could, maybe 120% of himself, but at the end, I wasn't able to succeed."

Right: Third place finisher and beaten favorite Hartnell returns for unsaddling. Jockey James McDonald said, "He went superb. We got into a nice enough rhythm down the back and he just trucked a little bit too hard for the two miles. He's a good galloper and he had a good crack."

horse racinghorse racingLeft: All the jockeys pose for a group shot before the Melbourne Cup.

Right: The field rounds the clubhouse turn in the Melbourne Cup.

horse racing
Artistry wins the Hong Kong Jockey Club Stakes (G3)

The last race on Cup day was the $150,000 Hong Kong Jockey Club Stakes (G3) for older horses sprinting 1400 meters (about 7 furlongs). Cape Grim Beef (G3) runner-up Silent Sedition was the 5-2 favorite in the field of 16 over 5-1 Artistry, second in the Nivison Stakes (G3), and 11-2 Egyptian Symbol, winner of the Nivison.

Egyptian Symbol was sent to the front by jockey Blake Shinn and set the pace while pressed by Kimberley Star and stalked by Just a Blur. Into the lane Egyptian Symbol continued to lead before tiring at the 1/8 pole. Artistry, 8th early under Hugh Bowman, rallied to gain the front and outfinished late-running Shillelagh to win by 1/2 a length in 1:22.99. It was another 1/4 length back to favorite Silent Sedition third.

Results chart

horse racinghorse racingLeft: Artistry in the winner's enclosure. Until today he was winless since the Newmarket Handicap (G3) March 19 at Rosehill Gardens, including a dismal 10th place finish in the Sky Racing Tatt's Club Tiara Stakes (G1) at Eagle Farm two starts back.

Right: Artistry with his new winner's blanket

horse racing Kicking off the Melbourne Cup day card was the $150,000 Ottawa Stakes (G3) for 2-year-old fillies sprinting 1000 meters (about 5 furlongs) down the straight. Madeenaty was sent off as the 3-5 favorite in the field of 16 off her debut win last out at Flemington, over 8-1 second choice Lucky Louie, third in the Gimcrack Stakes at Randwick, and 10-1 third choice Straviera, a first time starter.

Arctic Angel was quickest away and led for the first 1/4 before Invincible Star took over, with Arctic Angel and favorite Madeenaty giving chase. Lucky Louie, last early, had made steady progress and put in a strong late rally but Invincible Star under confident handling by Joao Moreira cruised to a 2 1/4 length win in 58.37 seconds. It was another 1/2 length back to Madeenaty third.

Results chart

horse racinghorse racingLeft: Invincible Star in the winner's enclosure. Trainer Adrian Bott said, "She's a natural sprinting type and been showing us nice ability. We left it up to Joao to see how the race panned out. She showed an abundance of early speed and put herself there so I think that made his mind up. She's one of the more precocious types we have at the moment so it's satisfying to see her start with a win in a Group race."

Right: Invincible Star with his winner's blanket.

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