Rekindling wins Melbourne Cup at Flemington
Rekindling lead home an Irish one-two-three in the Melbourne Cup as young trainer Joseph O'Brien's horse dramatically beat his father Aidan's Johannes Vermeer at Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne, Australia.
The runner-up looked set to bring another big triumph for the record-breaking trainer Aidan O’Brien, but it was his son Joseph, 24, who won at the first attempt with jockey Corey Brown taking the lead on Rekindling in the closing stages.
Max Dynamite, runner-up in 2015, finished third to complete a stunning leading trio at the line for Irish-trained horses at Flemington.
Known as the “race that stops a nation”, the Melbourne Cup is the world’s richest two-mile handicap, worth A$6.2m (£3.6m) and is watched by 90,000 people at the track and millions across Australia on television and online.
This year’s renewal proved to be one of the most compelling chapters in the race’s 157-year history as Aidan O’Brien looked like ending his Melbourne Cup hoodoo 1 as Johannes Vermeer swept to the front 00 metres from home. However Rekindling had too much staying power and just had enough distance and energy to reel him in to win by just over a neck.
In doing so not only did Joseph beat his father to the world’s richest handicap, but at 24 years of age he became the youngest ever winning trainer in the race having only began training last year after retiring from a successful riding career two years ago.
Rekindling is the youngest horse to win the race since 1941, whilst winning jockey Corey Brown, who is 17 years older than the trainer, was enjoying a second Melbourne Cup success.
Australian racehorse owner Lloyd Williams, who had the first two home as he celebrated a sixth Melbourne Cup triumph, said, “I’m proud of this young man. He’s an absolute star.
“I am absolutely thrilled to have done it with Aidan’s son, it’s like a dream come true.”
Favourite Marmelo, trained by Hughie Morrison, was among the leaders around the turn to raise hopes of a first British winner, but faded from contention to finish ninth. Big Duke was the best Australian-trained finisher when coming in fourth, with the first Scottish runner, Nakeeta, taking fifth.
Thomas Hobson, a stablemate of third-placed Max Dynamite, was sixth under 18-year-old Ben Allen who came in as a late replacement for jockey Joao Moreira who was injured in a fall earlier on the card.
There was disappointment for last year’s winner Almandin, ridden by Frankie Dettori, who came in 12th.