Sport Horse Racing

Tuesday 21 November 2017

Irish trained horses claim incredible 1-2-3 in Melbourne Cup as Joseph pips father Aidan

Joseph O'Brien wins with Rekindling, pipping his father's horse Johannes Vermeer

Jockey Corey Brown kisses the trophy, as Joseph O'Brien laughs, after winning the 157th version of the A$6.2 million ($4.77 million) Melbourne Cup on Rekindling at Flemington racecourse in Melbourne, Australia, November 7, 2017. AAP/Julian Smith/via REUTERS
Jockey Corey Brown kisses the trophy, as Joseph O'Brien laughs, after winning the 157th version of the A$6.2 million ($4.77 million) Melbourne Cup on Rekindling at Flemington racecourse in Melbourne, Australia, November 7, 2017. AAP/Julian Smith/via REUTERS
Martin Breheny

Martin Breheny

The Australians describe the Melbourne Cup as "the race that stops a nation" but Ireland turned it into "the race that tops a nation" with a stunning 1-2-3 in the Flemington Classic.

The Joseph O’Brien-trained Rekindling powered to a glorious victory in front of a crowd of 90,536, getting up in the final 100 metres to beat Johannes Vermeer, trained by his father, Aidan.

The Willie Mullins-trained Max Dynamite took third place, with his two other runners, Thomas Hobson and Wicklow Brave finishing sixth and tenth respectively.

Joseph O’Brien’s other runner, US Army Ranger finished 18th of the 23 runners.

That was a minor setback to the 24-year-old training sensation as he celebrated a remarkable success in his first Melbourne Cup venture with the youngest horse in the field.

Owned by Lloyd Williams, the winner was the first three-year-old to win Australia’s most famous race since 1941 and the first Irish-trained winner since Dermot Weld’s success with Media Puzzle in 2002.

Second-placed, Johannes Vermeer also ran in William’s colours.

The Irish-trained trio pulled away in the final 200 metres, setting up a tremendous battle, with the Corey Brown-ridden Rekindling wore down Johannes Vermeer.

“I can’t believe it - it hasn’t really sunk in yet. His preparation went really well and Corey gave him an unbelievable ride. The lads at home and the lads here have done an unbelievable job.

“All the lads at home, all year round, have done a great job with him,” said O’Brien.

It was a second Melbourne Cup success for Brown, a 41-year-old Australian jockey,who has ridden over 2,000 winners.

The owner paid tribute to Joseph O’Brien after a spectacular triumph.

“I am absolutely delighted to have done it with Aidan’s son. It’s like a dream come true. I’m proud of this young man. He’s a star, an absolute star. I’ve been telling people his Dad need to watch out,” said Williams.

Rekindling earned 3.6 million Australian dollars for the connections, with second-placed Johannes Vermeer scooping 900,000 dollars while third-placed Maz Dynamite yielded 450,000 dollars.

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