Ireland's Rekindling wins Melbourne Cup

Rekindling won the Melbourne Cup in a dramatic finish that saw Joseph O'Brien tip out his legendary father, Aidan O'Brien, as both Irishmen chased their maiden victory in the great race.

Aidan O'Brien, who recently saddled a world-record 26th Group 1 winner for the season, and who extended that mark when Mendelssohn won at the Breeders' Cup meeting last weekend, looked certain to add the Melbourne Cup to his honour roll when Johannes Vermeer cruised into the lead. But his Caulfield Cup placegetter could not withstand his son's more lightly weighted Rekindling, ridden by Corey Brown, in a finish that echoed the legendary drive to the line in the 1984 English Derby at Epsom, where David O'Brien's Secreto became the only horse to defeat his legendary father Vincent O'Brien's superstar colt El Gran Senor.

The remarkable nature of the finish continued with Max Dynamite, the 2015 runner-up to Prince of Penzance, saddled by Willie Mullins, finishing third to complete an astonishing Irish-trained 1-2-3, while Lloyd Williams, who owned the first two over the line, was winning a record sixth Melbourne Cup.

Big Duke finished fourth ahead of Nakeeta, Scotland's first runner, while Williams' Gallante finished last.

Joseph O'Brien, who switched to training after weight curtailed his career as a champion jockey, as which he won a string of top races for his father including the English Derby winners Camelot and Australia, described the winning feeling as "right up there with the best of them".

"I can't believe it," he said.

"I am thankful to Lloyd and Nick [Williams]. They suggested to bring him down and he would have a good chance in the race.

"His preparation went really good. Corey gave him an unbelievable ride. Everyone, the lads that have been down here with him have done an unbelievable job. All the lads at home, all year round, have done a great job with him. I can't quite believe it. This is unbelievable. It hasn't sunk in yet."

Winning owner Lloyd Williams described his sixth Melbourne Cup winner as "an absolute dream".

"I can't put it into words to be perfectly honest. Just to do it with this [24-year-old] ... he has been taking the world on. I thought that this horse had some chance and I thought that his run in the St Ledger was good, and his three-year-old form over there has been very good."

Corey Brown, who won the 2009 on Shocking, said he had "chased the ride [on Rekindling] about six weeks ago and with a light weight [thinking he was] a big chance to get on him ... I can't believe it."

The victory marked a welcome return to the big time for Brown, who has been re-establishing himself since returning to Sydney after a lengthy stint in Singapore.

Finishing Order (Racecard No. in parentheses)

1. Rekindling (22)

2. Johannes Vermeer (7)

3. Max Dynamite (9)

4. Big Duke (13)

5. Nakeeta (18)

6. Thomas Hobson (21)

7. Tiberian (4)

8. Libran (17)

9. Marmelo (5)

10. Wicklow Brave (12)

11. Red Cardinal (6)

12. Almandin (2)

13. Cismontane (24)

14. Amelie's Star (23)

15. Boom Time (15)

16. Wall of Fire (20)

17. Single Gaze (19)

18. US Army Ranger (14)

19. Humidor (3)

20. Hartnell (1)

21. Ventura Storm (10)

22. Bondi Beach (8)

23. Gallante (16)

TOTE DIVIDENDS - Numbers 22 - 7 - 9 - 3


Win $17.10 Place $5.90, $4.20, $5.20

Quinella (22-7) $96.60 Exacta (22-7) $199.10 Trifecta (22-7-9) $3,025.10 First 4 (22-7-9-13) $44,736.30


Win $16.30 Place $5.90, $4.50, $5.60

Quinella (22-7) $102.30 Exacta (22-7) $211.70 Duet (22-7) $39.60 Duet (22-9) $48.80 Duet (7-9) $40.30 Trifecta (22-7-9) $3,410.20 First 4 (22-7-9-13) $54,338,70


Win $15.90 Place $5.70, $4.40, $5.50

Quinella (22-7) $99.40 Exacta (22-7) $188.40 Any 2 (7-22) $37.90 Any 2 (9-22) $58.60 Any 2 (7-9) $40.50 Trifecta (22-7-9) $2,863.40 First 4 (22-7-9-13) $52,655.80