Melbourne Cup result: Verry Elleegant wins with British raider Spanish Mission third

Melbourne Cup result: Verry Elleegant wins with British raider Spanish Mission third

Verry Elleegant stunned hot favourite Incentivise to run out an impressive winner of the Lexus Melbourne Cup.

The New Zealand mare galloped away from the pack, which included third-placed British raider Spanish Mission, by four lengths.

It was a first victory in Australia’s biggest race for trainer Chris Waller, while jockey James McDonald was celebrating after a late call-up to partner the horse.

McDonald told www.racing.com: “It means everything. It’s the one race I’ve dreamed of riding in and of winning. That’s how you want to win a Melbourne Cup.

“I couldn’t believe the position I got first time out of the straight, she was so relaxed and she never touched the bridle until I gave her a kick at the 600-metre mark and she sucked up.

Melbourne Cup winner Verry Elleegant in front of racing fans who watched it live
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Getty)

“I could see the favourite (Incentivise) getting shoved along but I had seen that in the Caulfield Cup as well. When I went past him, I just wanted that post to come up.

“To pilot horses like Verry Elleegant each and every carnival is just a huge privilege and it worked out really well for us.”

The Melbourne Cup, known as “the race that stops a nation”, is worth £4.25m.

Spanish Mission, trained by Andrew Balding in Berkshire, won connections more than £300,000 for reaching the places.

Incentivise, undefeated in his past nine starts prior to the race, had no answer to the winner’s finishing kick.

Assistant trainer Johanne Taylor poses with the Lexus Melbourne alongside Verry Elleegant
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Getty)

McDonald, emotional as he crossed the line aboard Verry Elleegant, was originally booked to ride the British-trained Away He Goes before an injury ruled him out last week.

Waller famously handled 25-times Group 1 winner and champion mare Winx .

He said: “It makes it pretty special to have another mare like this one. So brave, so determined and so good.

“We’ve had some great wins and important wins and this is certainly one of them.

“It’s the Melbourne Cup, so it’s very special and just the way she won it. She dropped on them and showed her class.

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“She was the class of the race and she showed that with that finish that I’ll never forget.”

Spanish Mission’s rider Craig Williams was thrilled with his placed effort.

He said: “Couldn’t have been any more impressed with his gallant performance. I had the option of being one horse in for the entire race but I decided to be on the back of Grand Promenade, I thought it would take me nicely into the race and we did. But when Verry Elleegant came around me, she was towing.

“My horse did a really good job and was fighting it out for second. Great job by Andrew Balding and his team for the planning and what a gallant warrior to go to battle with.”

Last year’s winner, Twilight Payment, trained by Joseph O’Brien in Ireland, finished 11th.

Melbourne Cup result

1. Verry Elleegant 17-1

2. Incentivise 19-10f

3. Spanish Mission 9-1

4. Floating Artist 10-1

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