Owner Lloyd Williams has won his fifth Melbourne Cup as import Almandin outlasted Irish raider Heartbreak City to take out the $6.2 million Group One at Flemington.
Almandin, ridden by Kerrin McEvoy and trained by Robert Hickmott, beat Heartbreak City and Godolphin’s favourite Hartnell in a brilliant finish.
McEvoy — who previously won the Cup on Brew in 2000 — made a perfectly-timed run to hit the front after the top of the straight, as Almandin and Heartbreak City, ridden by Joao Moreira, settled down to fight out the finish with Hartnell just behind.
Williams won for the fifth time following the successes of Just a Dash (1981), What a Nuisance (1985), Efficient (2007) and Green Moon (2012).
He passes 19th Century owners Etienne de Mestre and John Tait, and Bart Cummings partner Dato Tan Chin Nam.
Kerrin McEvoy broke the record for the longest gap between Cup winners for a jockey with his first win in 16 years. He was delighted by the winning run and paid tribute to Williams.
“Gee, he travelled well. How lucky am I mate?” he told Channel Seven on Tuesday.
“He won in October there, and going into the race he (Williams) just gave him a nice freshen up.
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Congratulations to Kerrin McEvoy @kpmcevoy24 winning 2016 Melbourne Cup for Team Williams at Flemington. It's been a year to remember after they won 2016 Sydney Cup at Randwick Racecourse earlier in the year . #kerrinmcevoy #melbournecup #melbournecup2016 #horses #jockey #jockeylife #winning #winning🏆 #horseracing #australianhorseracing #melbournecupwinner
“I said to my old man yesterday, I said all we need is a good run. The more I look at it the more confident I get. Just a dream come true.
“I’d like to thank Lloyd and Rob Hickmott for giving me the chance.”
McEvoy’s wife Cathy Payne – whose sister Michelle rode Prince of Penzance to victory in last year’s Cup – is due to give birth with the couple’s fourth child.
At the presentation, Kerrin McEvoy thanked her “for putting up with me the last few weeks.”
Williams said the win was a special one given the run of injuries Almandin has had since joining the Hickmott stable in 2014.
“This horse, (he) had a tendon (and) he was broken down,” Williams told Channel Seven.
“No, it’s quite emotional about this one. The boys have done a fabulous job with getting this horse back.”
Almandin came into Cup calculations with a comfortable win in last month’s Bart Cummings Stakes over 2,500m at Flemington.
“When we thought it had a chance after it won the Cummings Stakes, we asked the others would they like to come into it,” Williams said.
“We thought it had a real Melbourne Cup chance. We popped it in after we thought it could win – gave them (owners) a chance to be in the Melbourne Cup.”
Online Source: ABC.net.au.