x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

Green Moon sees off rivals to win Melbourne Cup

The Australian-trained horse sees off foreign hopefuls at Flemington to triumph in the Dh23m race, but Frankie Dettori's swansong for Godolphin is not a happy one as Cavalryman finishes well down the field.

Brett Prebble pilots home Green Moon to win the 2012 Melbourne Cup
Brett Prebble pilots home Green Moon to win the 2012 Melbourne Cup

Australian-trained Green Moon produced a powerful finish to beat off a strong foreign contingent and win the Melbourne Cup - after the race build-up was overshadowed by a betting scandal.

Ridden by Hong Kong-based Australian jockey Brett Prebble and trained by Robert Hickmott, Green Moon (19-1) finished one length clear of another Australian-trained runner Fiorente (30-1) in Australia’s two-miler.

Third-placed Jakkalberry (80-1), trained at Newmarket by Italian-born Marco Botti, flew the flag for the eight foreign raiders trying to lift the biggest prize in Australian racing in the AU$6m (Dh23m) event.

There was disappointment for Godolphin as Frankie Dettori’s likely swansong for the Dubai racing group proved fruitless, the jockey managing only 12th place on Cavalryman in what was one of the strongest international fields to contest the cup in its 152 year history.

Green Moon is an imported Irish-bred stayer who has been racing under Hickmott in Australia since August last year. The Melbourne Cup was his seventh win in 20 starts.

Prebble flew in from Hong Kong to drive Green Moon to the front halfway down the long Flemington straight for his first Cup win.

The four main international hopes – Mount Athos (5th), Red Cadeaux (8th), Americain (11th) and last year’s winner and 6-1 favourite Dunaden (14th) could not finish in the top four.

"It’s my life dream to do it," Prebble said afterwards.

The Luca Cumani-trained Mount Athos flew from the rear to finish fifth under Ryan Moore.

Glencadam Gold enjoyed an uncontested lead from the outset, but initiated an admittedly humdrum gallop off which the major European players like last year’s respective first and second, Dunaden and Red Cadeaux, had no answers.

Gai Waterhouse’s trailblazer fleetingly looked the winner, until the smooth-travelling Green Moon swooped to conquer in the hands of Prebble.

"It’s the pinnacle of racing in Australia," said the winning jockey.  "I’ve had some great highs here, but you don’t get any higher than reaching the pinnacle.

"If he sustained the journey, nothing was going to go with him.

"It’s very emotional and it’s going to last for a long time."

A betting scandal had threatened to overshadow the build-up after top jockey Damien Oliver, riding one of the favourites Americain, reportedly admitted putting money on a rival horse in a race in 2010.

The champion jockey reportedly admitted last month to breaching the rules of racing by betting on rival horse Miss Octopussy, which won a race two years ago at Melbourne’s Moonee Valley.

Oliver, competing in the same race, finished sixth.