Melbourne: Green Moon thundered down the straight to win the A$6.2 million [Dh23.7m] Melbourne Cup on Tuesday, upsetting a host of highly-fancied foreign entrants to bring Australia’s most coveted racing prize back into local hands.
The Robert Hickmott-trained stallion charged to the front with 300 metres to the line and held off fast-finishing runner-up Fiorente to win the two-mile handicap by a length, with third-placed Jakkalberry a further length-and-a-quarter back.
It is the first win for a locally-prepared horse since Shocking won “the race that stops a nation” in 2009.
Jockey Brett Prebble, who rode the 22-1 shot to perfection, punched the air in celebration as a packed crowd at Flemington Racecourse roared.
Prebble said he knew the six-year-old bay had the race won at the 1,200 metre mark.
“I knew nothing was going to go with him if he sustained the journey,” he said in a television interview.
“I probably pressed him a bit soon and it’s hard to wait when you have so much power underneath you, but I was very confident that no-one would pick him up when I let him down and he ran all the way through the wire.
“It was a great feeling.”
Fiorente’s runner-up finish was further heartbreak for trainer Gai Waterhouse, who trained two previous second-placings — Te Akau Nick in 1993 and Nothin’ Leica Dane in 1995 — in the cup.