March 18, 2019

Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed is finally a Melbourne Cup winner

08 November 2018, 07:47 | Anna Jefferson

Six things to know about the 2018 Melbourne Cup race

Magic Circle ridden by Fran Berry won at Sandown Park in May

Ahead of the race, Aidan O'Brien-trained Yucatan, owned by six-time Melbourne Cup victor Lloyd Williams, was strong favorite but the sodden conditions threw the form book out the window.

Sheikh Mohammed's personal Melbourne Cup drought had stretched three decades back to 1988 when he was first represented in the Cup by Authaal, trained by the late Colin Hayes, which finished 19th.

McEvoy timed Cross Counter's run perfectly after turning into the final straight well back in the field.

"We were lucky, bad with that horse breaking down", McEvoy said from the back of the four-year-old.

It also confirmed Newmarket-based Appleby's pre-eminence as Sheikh Mohammed's premier trainer.

McEvoy, like Appleby, was quick to praise Sheikh Mohammed.

Five years after Dubai ruler's entrusted the rookie trainer to restore Godolphin's tarnished reputation following the Mahmood Al Zarooni drug scandal, he has now added the Melbourne Cup to the Epsom Derby win that he and Buick enjoyed with Masar in early June. I've spoken to His Highness and he's over the moon about this result.

The race was marred when the Aidan O'Brien-trained The Cliffsofmoher broke down at the winning post the first time around, breaking its right shoulder.

"I'm absolutely delighted. This is everybody's dream", said Appleby, who also prepared Epsom Derby victor Masar.

Fortunately for punters, flamboyant British billionaire Marwan Koukash's seven-year-old gelding Magic Circle didn't win despite being one of the favourites.

"I can't thank everyone enough".

In the 158th running of Australia's "race that stops a nation", trainer Charlie Appleby saw his charge, ridden by Kerrin McEvoy, lead home a 1-2-3 for British-trained runners on a very wet track at Flemington Racecourse in Victoria.

"It is a very special day for us all".

Marmelo was second and A Prince of Arran two lengths behind in third.

The day is also a public holiday in the host state of Victoria, which this year experienced heavy rains causing flooding and disruption to transport in the morning leading up to the race.

He returned past year, with success, and for the 2018 spring carnival had an early victory with Jungle Cat at Group One level.

Admire Rakti and Araldo were both killed in the 2014 Melbourne Cup.

Jockey Kerrin McEvoy celebrated his third win in the two-mile race, drawing level with active jockeys Damien Oliver and Glen Boss. "We had plenty of trips away and some good times on the track". Obviously Godolphin has been a huge supporter of mine.

"Coming into today, this horse ticked a lot of boxes". Well done to Charlie and this little horse.

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