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Sport REVEALED: The winner of Melbourne Cup 2021

07:41  02 november  2021
07:41  02 november  2021 Source:   dailymail.co.uk

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  Flemington prepares for Cup week crowds Crowds, albeit in a limited capacity, are set to return to the Victoria Racing Club's four-day Melbourne Cup carnival.But strict COVID-19 protocols will be in force as the Victoria Racing Club prepares to welcome 10,000 fully vaccinated racegoers on Melbourne Cup day after opening the gates to 5500 spring carnival fans for Victoria Derby on Saturday.

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Verry Elleegant has beaten red-hot favourite Incentivise to win the Melbourne Cup in emphatic style, overcoming a big weight and a wide barrier to take out the race that stops the nation.

The $16.50 chance charged past Incentivise with 200 metres remaining and won by 3.5 lengths to deliver an overdue first Melbourne Cup win for both Sydney's leading jockey James McDonald and top trainer Chris Waller.

English stallion Spanish Mission - one of only three visiting international horses - finished third and Floating Artist was next as the top four put a big break on the rest of the field in the $8million race at Flemington on Tuesday.

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'Thoughts (of winning) went through my mind at the 500m when I saw Incentivise getting shoved along but I knew he would fight,' McDonald said.

'There wasn’t a horse that was going to come from behind me, it was just a matter of catching him.'

The $4.4 million first prize took the mare's career winnings beyond the $14million mark - a remarkable achievement that belies the horse's humble breeding.

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It was an expert ride by ace jockey McDonald, who had a difficult task from barrier 18 trying to get the mare relaxed enough to enable her to run out the two miles - a distance at which she was unproven despite her phenomenal record of 10 Group One wins.

He had the mare around midfield through most of the running, getting a nice trail behind the pace, while up front it was Persan who led and Incentivise nicely positioned in second.

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  Punters let down their hair at Melbourne and Sydney's racing days The festivities on Saturday marked one of the first celebrations for many who had spent countless weeks confined to their homes due to Covid-19 ripping through both NSW and Victoria. Glamorous punters matched fascinators with face masks at Flemington Racecourse, with a capped Covid-safe crowd of 5,500 spectators in Victoria to mark the start of the four-day Melbourne Cup carnival. In Sydney, there was plenty of buzz surrounding the Golden Eagle, where up to 10,000 double-vaccinated spectators flocked to Rosehill Gardens in Sydney's west.

Entering the straight, Incentivise - going for an extraordinary tenth straight win - tried to kick clear of the field but Verry Elleegant quickly gathered up the leader and charged past with a furlong to run and won comfortably.

Waller, who is most famous for training the record-breaking Winx and whose huge stable of horses has established him as Australia's most successful trainer, ended his frustrating wait for a Melbourne Cup win.

He had 21 entries in the big race prior to today for a meagre return of one placing.

An emotional McDonald, who had two previous placings in the Cup, called Verry Elleegant a 'superstar' after guiding the mare to victory.

'I love her to bits,' he said. 'She’s been so good to me. They can safely say she’s a champion now.'

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'She was relaxed the whole way. When I looked at the 600 (metres to go), I still just, just... I was blowing kisses to her the whole way.

Why our racing expert is betting against heavy Cup favourite

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WHERE YOUR HORSE FINISHED

1. Verry Elleegant

2. Incentivise

3. Spanish Mission

4. Floating Artist

5. The Chosen One

6. Grand Promenade

7. Delphi

8.  Selino

9.Tralee Rose

10:  She's Ideel

11. Twilight Payment

12:  Miami Bound

13. Great House

14. Sir Lucan

15. Explosive Jack

16. Master Of Wine

17.  Pondus

18. Carif

19. Knights Order

20. Persan

21. Port Guillaume

22. Johnny Get Angry

23. Ocean Billy

24. Future Score (scratched before the race)

'I don’t know. I just can’t believe what’s just happened.'

There were some doubts about Verry Elleegant's chances due to the weight, the wide barrier and the questions about her running out the long distance.

But the sceptics would have done well to heed McDonald's words prior to the race.

'I galloped her on Saturday and she is absolutely humdinging,' McDonald declared in column for Racenet on Tuesday morning.

'Dead set, whether she’s a Melbourne Cup winner or not, she’s going to run so well it’s not funny.

'Seriously, I haven’t felt her work as good. I’m telling you, she is going great.'

Thankfully all runners finished without incident, after the race was blighted in recent years by fatal injuries.

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Outsider Future Score was ruled out of the race after failing a veterinary test on Tuesday morning.

Delphi was lame on Cup eve but satisfied Racing Victoria veterinarians of his soundness and ran pretty strongly to finish seventh in the 23-horse field.

At $3 odds, Incentivise was shorter than any Cup runner since the great Phar Lap.

Jockey Brett Prebble had him nicely positioned just behind the leader but was not able to accelerate away from the field as he did in winning the Caulfield Cup.

However he stuck on strongly to finish second and would have lost no admirers.

In an age when super-rich breeding operations dominate the bloodstock industry, Verry Elleegant's win was a victory for the little guys.

Her New Zealand hobby breeder Don Goodwin owned a horse called Zed which was retired prematurely due to a leg injury and became a modest sire, charging a cut-rate $600 at stud despite himself being sired by the great Zabeel.

Zed serviced Goodwin's only mare Opulence - which he bought for $10,000 - and the resultant foal was Verry Elleegant.

The unusual spelling of her name is a nod to Goodwin's granddaughter Ellee, while the two Rs in Verry was chosen to make it stand out.

Glammed-up punters earlier began spilling into Melbourne's Flemington Racecourse ahead of the world-renowned race -  with the sartorial bar set early on by a woman bursting through the gates in a pastel power suit.

Late scratching rocks Melbourne Cup

  Late scratching rocks Melbourne Cup Two runners for the Melbourne Cup will need to pass veterinary inspections, including the heavily backed Delphi.Heavily backed Delphi and long shot Future Score needed to pass vet examinations before the final scratching time of 7.30am AEDT this morning.

The fashionista led a host of attendees donned head-to-toe in pastel mini dresses, whimsical white lace numbers and bold patterned pieces keen to ensure all eyes were on them as they fought it out for prime position ahead of the iconic race at 3pm.

About 70 per cent of attendees at the 161st Melbourne Cup are Victoria Racing Club members with only five per cent of tickets offered to members of the public.

The rest of the crowd are made up of horse owners, corporate sponsors and trainers.

Those who didn't snag a ticket for the race can watch from home with 10 people including dependents allowed in private residences and 30 in public spaces outdoors.

Hospitality venues are packed to the brim with fully vaccinated punters who may struggle to stay seated as rules request when the major race kicks off at 3pm.

Punters are separated into three zones they cannot stray from and will need to be fully vaccinated, wear a mask indoors and be seated to eat and drink.

Trainer Matthew Cumani meahwile slammed Racing Victoria for the 'ultra-conservative' rules that meant Future Score was pulled from the race after showing signs of lameness in his right foreleg.

  REVEALED: The winner of Melbourne Cup 2021 © Provided by Daily Mail ( © Provided by Daily Mail (

He claimed the seven-year-old gelding presented the same way going into the Cranbourne Cup, which he won.

The last-minute decision comes after safety measures for Cup Runners were ramped-up following the deaths of six horses in the last seven years.

'Just very sad for the owners of the horse, we thought he was a better chance than 200-1, he was really peaking for this week,' Cumani told SEN on Tuesday morning.

'I think there's a lot of pressure on Racing Victoria to be ultra, ultra conservative. And for them it was a real margin call, it went down to 7.29am to make the decision.

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Staggering admission dropped after Melbourne Cup win .
The winning Melbourne Cup trainer has made an extraordinary admission in the aftermath of Verry Elleegant's triumph.The greatly respected trainer, who watched the race from his Sydney home to avoid a five-day isolation upon returning from Melbourne, had set October's Cox Plate as the top priority for the mighty mare's spring. He had been extremely wary of overtaxing the horse by committing to the Melbourne Cup, too.

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