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The young lady interviewer, riding alongside doughty winner Vow And Declare and hoping to gain insight into a dramatic race, felt the need to interrupt and assure Williams that everyone in the known world probably knew of their role in getting him a first Melbourne Cup win after 17 attempts. “The race that stops a nation” lived up to expectations with a titanic battle between 24 runners from various parts of the world – and an epic finish after 3200 gruelling metres around Flemington racecourse. Australia celebrated a home victory after several years of domination by the foreign invaders. The...
The young lady interviewer, riding alongside doughty winner Vow And Declare and hoping to gain insight into a dramatic race, felt the need to interrupt and assure Williams that everyone in the known world probably knew of their role in getting him a first Melbourne Cup win after 17 attempts.

“The race that stops a nation” lived up to expectations with a titanic battle between 24 runners from various parts of the world – and an epic finish after 3200 gruelling metres around Flemington racecourse. Australia celebrated a home victory after several years of domination by the foreign invaders.



Legendary jockey Frankie Dettori, who has never lifted a Melbourne Cup despite years of trying, failed by an agonisingly close whisker to get across the line in front.

His desperate bid to break the hoodoo saw him throw the kitchen sink at Master Of Reality – but unfortunately the horse veered inwards in the closing stages and hampered fast-finishing Il Paradiso.

Stewards demoted Master Of Reality to fourth place, with Prince Of Arran – flying up on the outside of the main contenders – promoted to second and Il Paradiso to third.

For all that he wanted to mention every distant cousin in the flush of victory, Williams really only had himself to thank. It was his unconventional tactics that won the day.

Winning trainer Danny O’Brien revealed afterwards that pre-race strategy did not involve pushing to the front from the start – but that’s what Williams did, as soon as he assessed there was no speed on. O’Brien said this early energy-spend had him reckoning Vow And Declare would be lucky to hang on for a place.

“But Craig’s tactics probably won us the race,” admitted the trainer.

He described Vow And Declare as a standout stayer, saying the son of Declaration of War had “lactic numbers” that were the best he had ever seen.

Racing fans who love a mighty endurance performance will enjoy watching the 2019 Melbourne Cup race video.

From a wide draw, Vow And Declare tracks over to the inside rail to take the lead, but holds his head straight throughout, eyes on a distant prize. A handful of horses glide past him on the back stretch, but the mighty chestnut keeps striding resolutely in the box-seat position.

As the field rounds the turn into the straight, he accelerates under Williams’s urgings, not deviating one iota from his route up the rail to the post. Metres from the finishing line, Il Paradiso, under pressure from Master Of Reality, veers inwards, but our hero shoulders those two out of his path and claims the verdict.

Finche, backed in to 15-2 favouritism, was seventh, just behind second favourite and Japanese raider Mer De Glace (17-2). Also at 17-2 was Aussie-trained Constantinople also started at 17-2, but could only manage 13th under Brazilian ace Joao Moreira.

South Africa’s challenge – via co-owner Braam van Huysteen’s Mustajeer – never materialised – along with those of a cluster of top-rated international contenders.

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