‘It's an absolute dream’: Lloyd’s latest Cup triumph one for the ages

Owner Lloyd Williams wrote another chapter in his astonishing Melbourne Cup record when the northern hemisphere trained three-year-old Rekindling triumphed to give young Irish trainer Joseph O'Brien a Cup winner at his first attempt.

The son of High Chapparal becomes the first three-year-old to win the race since 1941 and he was the second scorer for jockey Corey Brown, who won on Shocking in 2009.

Second home was Johannes Vermeer, also in Williams colours, who is trained by O'Brien's father, Aidan, while the third to finish was another European raider, Max Dynamite, for Irish trainer Willie Mullins.

The same horse had finished second two years ago when Michelle Payne made history aboard Prince of Penzance.

Darren Weir fared best of the locals with Big Duke, a horse brought from Europe two years ago, who ran fourth.

Williams seems to have a mortgage on the Cup these days, having scored with Almandin last year.

"I am absolutely thrilled to have done it with Aidan's son, it's like a dream come true. I thought the three-year-olds were racing well there ... it's an absolute dream," Williams said.

Rekindling wore down Johannes Vermeer close to the line after Ben Melham had kicked clear on the well-backed galloper.

While a first-time Melbourne Cup win was within the sights of Dunedoo’s Hugh Bowman but his race favourite, Marmelo, simply didn’t have the energy to stay at the head of the field and faded early on the straight.

The Prix de Kergorlay winner was touted as Bowman’s best chance to break his Cup drought but over the final 300 metres of Tuesday’s two-mile classic Marmelo watched a host of runners go by him on the Flemington turf.

Marmelo had led briefly at the top of the straight but would slowly drop back through the field to finish in ninth.

As Bowman watched his winning hopes slip away an intense battle was beginning to brew out in front.

Winning jockey Brown struggled to find the right words to describe the sensation of winning his second Cup.

“I can’t believe it. The manager and I chased this ride about six weeks ago. With the light weight I thought I’d be a chance at getting a ride on him,” he said.

“I’ve been back from overseas for about nine months, slowly but surely getting back to where I was. 

“It’s so special. I’ve got my family with me and my girls are old enough to come to the races now and enjoy it. I’m lost for words. I can’t believe I’ve done it again.” 


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