Favourite Fiorente wins Melbourne Cup
AUSTRALIAN Hall Of Fame trainer Gai Waterhouse saddled Fiorente to win this morning’s Emirates Melbourne Cup as she claimed the AUS$6.2m (€4.4m) race for the first time in her illustrious training career.
After finishing second in the race three times, Waterhouse was responsible for today's pre-race favourite as well as fancied runner Tres Blue and fulfilled a lifetime dream as the former Sir Michael Stoute trained Fiorente led home the 24-runner field.
Last years' runner-up Fiorente was the first winning favourite since 2005 and the 34th in the 153 times the race has been run and the legendary trainer Waterhouse admitted: “It’s a dream come true.”
In front of over 104,000 people at Flemington, Fiorente went one better than 12 months ago to deny a European trained 2-3-4-5 Sole Irish raider Simenon finished in fourth for trainer Willie Mullins behind Red Cadeaux in second and Mount Athos in third, while Dandino was back in fifth.
Three of the first four home were Irish-bred with the Irish St Leger winner Voleuse De Coeurs finishing back in 10th on her first start since leaving Dermot Weld last month.
Waterhouse said afterwards: “It’s just fantastic. It ticks the biggest bucket list, doesn’t it? Everyone who is a trainer wants to win the majors and the Melbourne Cup is the major staying race in Australia.”
The darling of Australian racing added: “To be able to take it out a year after we bought the horse is sensational. It was a burning desire so today was fantastic.”
Reflecting on the race she said: “I was a bit concerned he was as far back as he was because it wasn’t his intention and then I could see he was picking up before the turn.
“Then I could see he was picking up and picking up and the last 200 metres I knew we had it won.”
Willie Mullins didn’t rule out sending Simenon back to Melbourne for another tilt at the Cup in 12 months.
“We would have no problem coming back although it’s a bit early yet. He’s ran a great race and there was no excuses – he was just been beaten by better horses on the day,” Mullins said.
Fiorente could be a possible Royal Ascot runner next year, according to Waterhouse, while Simenon may return to Ireland via Japan or Hong Kong where he has options in either the Japan Cup or Hong Kong Vase.
The Aga Khan’s first runner in the race ended tragically as Verema fractured a cannon bone and had to be euthanised, while the Michael Owen runner Brown Panther finished eighth and suffered severe lacerations which needed stitches are not reported to be career ending following initial fears.