Dubai: Having won most of the major prizes around the world, Godolphin were looking to add the A$15 million Everest to their glittering trophy collection, but had to settle for a second-place after Bivouac streaked home late to finish two lengths behind winner, Classique Legend.
Ridden by Glen Boss, best known for riding Makybe Diva to victory in three consecutive Melbourne Cups, Bivouac raced at the back of the 12-runner field for most of the six-furlong trip before making his bid with a furlong to run.
The acceleration was there as the four-year-old trained by James Cummings found a different set of gears, but it was a case too little too late as Kerrin McEvoy and Classique Legend were burning rubber at the front to cross the line in impressive fashion.
There was consolation for Cummings, as second string Trekking ran a blinder for Joshua Parr to finish fourth in the world’s richest turf race.
Following the biggest prize money injection for this year’s race with the first four runners across the line set to receive million-dollar purses, Bivouac netted a cool A$2.4 million.
Trekking pocketed A$1 million to make it a very lucrative outing for Godolphin in the Randwick Racecourse showpiece.
Meanwhile, Randwick training legend, 82-year-old Les Bridge, was celebrating one of the biggest wins of his career with the grey Classique Legend. The evergreen Bridge has already won the Melbourne Cup with Kensei in 1987, and Gytrash, with Jason Collett on board, earned A$1.4 million for his third-place effort
“One of my greatest friends was Persy Sykes who I spent a lot of time with. He said it is all in the genes. Some horses just get all the good genes,” Bridge told Channel Seven after the race. “I’m just repeating his words. This horse, he has a girth on him that deep and he just has a big V8 motor. It is unbelievable.”
It was a third win in four years for McEvoy who won the first two editions on Redzel in 2017 and 2018.
“Les has pulled a masterstroke off,” McEvoy said. “He has kept him in training from the middle of since July and [racing manager] Carmel [Size] has attended to him like a baby. It has been fantastic. It is an unbelievable feeling to win another one.”
Meanwhile at Caulfield racecourse, Irish raider and Epsom Derby hero Anthony Van Dyke produced a huge effort for Hugh Bowman to finished runner-up to Verry Elleegant in the A$5 million Caulfield Cup.
Ridden by Mark Zahra for trainer Chris Waller, Verry Elegant showed plenty courage to hold off Anthony Van Dyck with New Zealand stayer The Chosen One finishing third.
In winning the first leg of the Melbourne spring carnival’s historic Cups double, Verry Elleegant has become a clear favourite to win the Melbourne Cup on November 3.