Green Moon gave owner Lloyd Williams his fourth Melbourne Cup with a one-length win in Australia’s richest and most prestigious horse race at Flemington on Tuesday.
The locally trained English import, ridden by Hong Kong-based Australian jockey Brett Prebble, held off Fiorente and Jakkalberry in the A$6.175 million handicap race over 3,200 metres, with the favourites well beaten.
Six of the eight favourites in the 152nd running of the race were from overseas but last year’s winner, Dunaden, and 2010 champion Americain, both French trained, were among the fancied runners to finish well behind in the 24-horse field. Americain was 11th and Dunaden 14th.
Americain was ridden by Australian jockey Damien Oliver, who has been implicated in a scandal involving large bets the veteran rider placed on a rival horse in a race two years ago.
Green Moon paid A$20.80 to win and the trifecta for the leading three horses A$51,177 on the Victoria state betting agency. Fiorente (A$31) was the third Cup runner-up for leading Sydney trainer Gai Waterhouse, who is still yet to win Australia’s biggest race. She previously trained Te Akau Nick (1993) and Nothin’ Leica Dane (1995) to runner-up placings. Irish galloper Jakkalberry (A$81) was a further 11/4 lengths away in third.
Prebble said Green Moon, handled by local trainer Robert Hickmott, got a “severe check” about 250 metres after the start which put him on the fence.
“But he’s a quality horse, and I put it to him on the straightening,” said Prebble. “I was very confident they weren’t going to pick him up – he ran all the way through to the wire.”
Two weeks ago, Green Moon started as favourite in the Cox Plate, Australia’s richest weight-for-age race, but finished seventh, accounting for his generous odds.
Williams is a former business partner of one of Australia’s richest men, Kerry Packer, and once owned Melbourne’s Crown Casino. Now a property developer, Williams has been in poor health in recent years and was not at Flemington to watch the race.
Prince Charles, and wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, were among the crowd of more than 100,000 at Flemington in inner western Melbourne.