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The 2013 Melbourne Cup has been won by Fiorente, in a stunning tribute to trainers who run their best horses in Australia.
Let’s take a closer look at who won, and who lost in the wash-up of the big race.
Winner: Australian trainers – they keep winning their Cup, and it’s not magic. They train their horses to suit, giving them a full preparation in Australia.
Form experts like to see the the Melbourne Cup horse get in a full preparation and start in the Cup at their fifth race or so after a spell, and with a light autumn. Bart Cummings likes his horses to have at least 10,000m (10km) in their legs before running in the Cup.
Winner: The Punters!: The favourite won, for starters! Yet the problem with the Melbourne Cup is that international horses come from nowhere – most people have never heard of half the field.
Unless you’re staying up late in the middle of July, by the time the Cup is run, half the field haven’t been seen before.
This is bad for mug punters, who at least want a name they’ve heard before to back, and bad for the bookmakers, who find punters wary of horses that they’ve only heard about from someone else.
Winner: Gai Waterhouse: Finally, the first lady of racing gets a winner. Gai is easy to knock – she puts herself on a pedestal and she’ll tip each of her runners as a winner. But she went one better than last year on Fiorente and gave him the perfect preparation for the Cup. She’s finally got the biggest trophy of racing in Australia, to go with all the others.
Other winners: Ethiopia – finished seventh in a career highlight. Great run, especially after being last in 2012.
Red Cadeaux – this brave globetrotting eight-year-old was gallant again and very nearly held on for a win.
Internationals not running in Australia – again
Another year where the international contingent were beaten. Again, not by much. Red Cadeaux in second is one of the few that just doesn’t need a lead-up run, as one of the best travelling horses in the world. Mount Athos showed his class in third – but the question must be asked – how much better would the international field have finished if they’d had a lead-up race?
Before this year, 66 horses had come to Australia and without a lead up run, been unable to win. Now that total stands at 74.
Lloyd Williams – 0/6
Well, Lloyd couldn’t repeat the magic from 2012, despite having a record six runners in the field. Fawkner was his best, coming 6th. The rest were 12th, or worse. Sea Moon was his best horse but was given a difficult preparation after struggling to adapt to Australian racing.
Yet, don’t feel bad for Lloyd, he’ll be back – he’s relentless.
Treatment on the day of the Melbourne Cup is strictly forbidden, and a no-no that each and every trainer simply must abide by.
Trainers Mikel Delzangles and Gai Waterhouse were both hauled in front of stewards hours before the race after their horses, Dunaden and Tres Blue, were discovered to have received treatment on race day.
Hastily convened stewards inquiries found that neither substance was illegal, and adjourned the matter until after the race.
Both trainers called their stablehands’ actions a ‘mistake’, but that isn’t good enough, and both should be punished for their actions.
Godolphin – yet again can’t get a Cup win. Their only runner, Royal Empire, had won a Group 3 race but didn’t fire here, finishing 14th.
Official Melbourne Cup finishing order and margins
2. Red Cadeaux (0.75L)
3. Mount Athos (2.25L)
4. Simenon (2.45L)
5. Dandino (3.45L)
6. Fawkner (5.95L)
7. Ethiopia (6.95L)
8. Brown Panther (7.25L)
9. Super Cool (7.65L)
10. Voleuse De Coeurs (7.95L)
11. Dunaden (8.7L)
12. Seville (8.9L)
13. Sea Moon (9.4L)
14. Royal Empire (10.4L)
16. Ibicenco (12.05L)
17. Foreteller (12.8L)
18. Masked Marvel (14.05L)
19. Dear Demi (14.8L)
20. Hawkspur (19.05L)
21. Green Moon (44.05L)
22. Tres Blue (54.05L)
23. Ruscello (56.3L)
24. Verema – Failed to finish