Prince of Penzance has claimed the 2015 Melbourne Cup, ridden by the first female jockey to ever win the Cup, Michelle Payne.
Prince of Penzance started the race as a $101 outsider with some betting agencies, joining just a handful of other horses to ever win the race with such long odds.
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The horse, trained by Darren Weir, stormed to the win in the dying stages of the race to sneak past Max Dynamite by half a length. Criterion finished in third place.
The 2015 Melbourne Cup runs at 3pm (AEDT) and we’ll bring you live updates, winners, losers, and all the results, plus the late mail as Australia’s richest and most historic race gets underway.
The Melbourne Cup at Flemington offers the 24 entrants $6 million dollars in prize money on offer in this two-mile (3200m) global event, and Japanese stayer Fame Game looks the horse to beat in 2015 and is the favourite at $5.
The Roar’s experts have two huge previews if you’re looking to find a winner with some of the most comprehensive previews available. Read the full preview and tips here and a complete runner-by-runner guide here.
Fame Game comes into the race following a strong finish in the Caulfield Cup which suggests he will be right up to it when they pass the famous Flemington clock tower.
He’s a Group Two winner over 2,500m, a two-time Group Three winner over 3,400m and a Tenno Sho (Spring) second to one of Japan’s best horses, he has everything in his favour to win this race.
With Chris Waller on fire, Preferment has to come into calculations as well. If the rain stays away he is a real chance – and it does look sunny so he should figure.
Many pundits are talking down the chances of Kingfisher, but he has done well with his handicap and meets Trip To Paris 2kg better for his 1.3-length defeat in the Ascot Gold Cup (about 4000m, Group 1, weight-for-age).
There is no doubt that the Ed Dunlop trained Trip to Paris will get the distance in this race with three wins in his career already over 3200m. He ran really well in the Caulfield Cup when beaten by half a length for second.
Max Dynamite after some really ordinary hurdle form earlier this year suddenly found form and has won and been placed in his last three runs in the UK and Ireland. Each-way possibility.
Almoonqith will find this a much sterner test than the 2400m Group 3 Geelong Cup but he did win the race clearly, coming with a strong run from seventh at the 800m. Nicely weighted and in form.
Gust of Wind was far from disgraced when fourth in the Caulfield Cup and thrashed Winx in the ATC Oaks. A genuine chance who may pull a surprise at big odds.
Our Ivanhowe is peaking at the right time and is being prepared by a five time winning Melbourne Cup trainer in Lee Freedman in partnership with his brother Anthony. Ran on strongly from ninth at the 800m to finish a close third in the Caulfield Cup. Yet to run 3200m but he does stick on.
Sky Hunter from the Godolphin stables is coming from the UK as opposed to the other approach Godolphin takes from importing their horses. Only lightly raced, having won 6 from 11 starts, with the last three being at 2400m. One to keep safe at big odds.
Could it be fifth time lucky for Red Cadeaux? So many things are against him, but you simply have to include him based on his credentials in this race.
Quest for More struggled in the Geelong Cup, but is well credentialed over this distance. There is no doubting his ability to stay the distance but there remains a query on his ability to handle this quality of opposition.
Bondi Beach comes into this race for Aiden O’Brien and this four year old has impressed since getting onto the track. He has placed in all four Group or Listed races he has contested including last start in the 2937m G1 St Leger Stakes at Doncaster (UK). Has to overcome the dreaded barrier 18!
The United States is making a huge step up in grade, the connections were targeting the Moonee Valley Gold Cup as the last run of the campaign. He does have Joao Moreira on board which is in his favour, questions on the big step up in grade though.
Excess Knowledge made the field the hard way by winning the 2500m Group 3 Lexus Stakes on Saturday. He escaped a penalty for the Lexus win and will carry only 51kg in the Cup. Is a huge chance at a good price of $26.
Hartnell is a forgotten horse and I think he needs some more sting out of the ground to be competitive here. You know he will get the distance though and should run in the top 10.
Grand Marshal won the Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) in April this year, I think he needs it a little wetter to be a chance here. It will be legendary jockey Jim Cassidy’s swan song Melbourne Cup, so he is a sentimental runner.
If Criterion can get the 3200m trip he will be a real chance, he is Australia’s premier middle distance galloper but he hasn’t won past 2400m. I don’t think he can win.
Who Shot Thebarman ran third in last year’s Melbourne Cup and his lead-up races to this event have been sound, good conditioning and toughening runs. His trainer is Chris Waller and has to be included in the chances.
Snow Sky will have to defy the weight of history (literally) he looked very one paced in the Caulfield Cup and despite being a classy galloper looks like he will struggle to win this race. He is an honest galloper and might steal a place at a big odds.
The Offer won the 2014 Group 1 Sydney Cup over this distance and may have found form at the right time by winning the 2400m Group 3 Bendigo Cup.
Hokko Brave hasn’t won since 2013 which is enough to put me off.
Of the rest I am happy to take on Big Orange, Prince of Penzance and Sertorius.
This race looks like the most difficult Melbourne Cup to pick in a long time, however I am sticking with Fame Game to get the job done.
Selections: 1. Fame Game 2. Trip To Paris 3. Criterion 4. Bondi Beach
Others to look at: Almoonqith, Excess Knowledge, Sky Hunter, Gust of Wind, Quest For More, Our Ivanhowe and Snow Sky.