REKINLDING, one of six runners in the famous race for prominent owner Lloyd Williams, finished best to take out the Emirates Melbourne Cup.
Hovering around the $15 mark for most of the day, Rekindling hit a high of $20 at one point, which looked seriously good value as the horses turned for home.
Jockey Corey Brown had given the relatively young stayer a cushy run off the speed and hugging the rails for the most part, before shoving into the clear on straightening.
Rekindling then set about to overhaul Johannes Vermeer which had put paid to the race favourite Marmelo, shortly after the field entered the home straight.
Williams wouldn’t have cared which horse won the race at that point as he co-owns both of them but it was Rekindling which finished best to claim the Cup for Joseph O’Brien.
Johannes Vermeer was a brave second for Aidan O’Brien while Max Dynamite pulled out another ripper for Willie Mullins and the in-form Zac Purton to finish third.
Marmelo, which raced fourth in the run, hit the front at the top of the straight but it was quickly evident that the race favourite was no good thing and he subsequently struggled down the running to finish ninth. The import was by far and away the best backed runner at almost every corporate.
Almandin, the Cup champ from last year, endured a torrid three-wide run with Frankie Dettori on board and still did well to finish 12th of the 23 runners. It was a bitter pill to swallow for the thousands of punters that crunched the Robert Hickmott-trained galloper in betting, at one point, making him equal favourite with Marmelo after he firmed a full two points.
Williams, who races Almandin too, had the distinction of owning the first two across the line as well as the last two to finish the 3200 metre staying test (Bondi Beach, Gallante).
Victory aboard Rekindling gave Brown the unique honour of capturing the Sydney Cup (Polarisation) and Melbourne Cup in the same season.
Not surprisingly, many corporates and bookies have installed REKINDLING and JOHANNES VERMEER as equal favourites to win the 2018 Melbourne Cup. Ladbrokes have the pair at $21, as has TAB.