It was an all Australian victory in the 2019 Lexus Melbourne Cup, with the Danny O’Brien trained and Craig Williams ridden, Vow and Declare, taking out the Group 1 feature at Flemington today.
Coming from barrier 21, Vow and Declare went forward in the early stages and raced on speed throughout. In the home straight the four-year-old son of Declaration of War held his rivals at bay, defeating Prince of Arran and Il Paradiso.
Williams has won the three of Australia’s greatest races – the Caulfield Cup, Cox Plate and Golden Slipper – with the Melbourne Cup the only one to elude him until now.
“I feel very privileged,” said Williams.
“I grew up and watched races, I wrote stories for the late Travis Harrison. I’ve dreamt of these occasions.”
“My wife said when I win this race, it’s going to be the greatest race on earth.”
For trainer O’Brien it was his crowning moment in the sport.
“It’s a pretty overwhelming thing to be a boy who grew up in country Victoria and to be here today, to know that the whole country is watching, and that we’ve won our first Melbourne Cup,” said O’Brien.
Vow and Declare returned $11.70 for a win and $3.90 a place on the Western Australian TAB.
Following the race, stewards upheld the fourth versus second protest, which resulted in Prince of Arran being elevated to second, Il Paradiso promoted to third, while Master of Reality was relegated to fourth after deeming to have caused interference in the concluding stages.
Prince of Arran, ridden by Michael Walker, paid $4.60 for second and Il Paradiso, ridden by Wayne Lordan, paid $6.80 for third.
The quinella returned $82.40, exacta $175, trifecta $2,953.40 and the first 4 returned $79,381.40.
One lucky WA punter collected $59,536 for an outlay of just $1.50, when they landed 75% of the first four with a mystery bet.
Another clever punter picked up $29,534 when they successfully predicted the trifecta, with a spend of just $10.
Other significant winners included:
- $500 each-way on Vow and Declare – collecting $7,875
- $500 win on Vow and Declare – collecting $6,000
- $350 win on Vow and Declare – collecting $4,536
- $378 win on Vow and Declare – collecting $6,000
- $90 exacta – collecting $15,750
- $50 quinella – collecting $4,120
- $10 trifecta (1,000%) – collecting $29,534
- $480 trifecta (400%) – collecting $11,813
- $20 1st four mystery (55.55%) – collecting $44,100
- $10 1st four mystery (55.55%) – collecting $22,050
- $1.50 1st four mystery (75%) – collecting $59,536