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Posted 2019-11-05 07:15:45  
Vow And Declare a dramatic Melbourne Cup winner as Dettori is demoted to fourth

Vow And Declare narrowly prevailed in a thrilling finish to the Melbourne Cup for Danny O'Brien and Craig Williams.

It was a first success in the Cup for trainer O'Brien and veteran jockey Williams, with Vow And Declare managing to get up late on having been prominent throughout.

While Williams was winning his first Cup, Frankie Dettori's wait for a victory in the race goes on as he was narrowly beaten aboard the Joseph O'Brien-trained Master Of Reality.

But Dettori and Master Of Reality were later demoted to fourth following an inquiry by the stewards, who judged Dettori's ride to have caused significant interference late on to the original fourth, Il Paradiso. Dettori was given an eight-day ban for careless riding.

In the immediate aftermath before Master Of Reality's demotion, a crestfallen Dettori said: "I want to cry."

As a result of the inquiry, last year's third Prince Of Arran was promoted to second while Il Paradiso was moved to third for Aidan O'Brien.


Winning jockey Williams said: "I feel very honoured. I grew up and watched these races and dreamt of these occasions.

"I really want to thank all of the people who came out today. Not only is this our greatest race that stops a nation, as you can see by the form book, today it is targeted by horses from all around the world and we did it today with an Australian horse."

Danny O'Brien added: "It’s an amazing thing to happen. I really can’t believe it. I feel incredibly blessed to have had a horse good enough to be in it. He was ridden so beautifully by Craig.

"It doesn’t get much better than this. It was a race which wasn’t going to plan. To be fair to Craig he grabbed the bull by the horns early when nothing went forward. He ended up in front by the post. He’s a courageous horse, he’s got great stamina. I’m sure he was headed but wanted to get his head out on the line."

Charlie Fellowes was understandably delighted with Prince Of Arran, who ran a massive race for the second year running.

The trainer said: "What a horse! To do that two years in a row is remarkable - but this time I never felt that we were going to win it. I always felt Vow And Declare had us, although in the last five yards I realised we were a lot closer than I had thought.

How the race unfolded

Craig Williams gave Vow And Declare a superb ride to win, taking advantage of a muddling pace to always be in a prominent position.

Passing the packed Flemington stands for the first time, Vow And Declare and Master Of Reality were the front pair, and they were afforded an easy time of things in front.

The pace slowly increased, and rounding the final bend the field was packing up in behind, with challengers fanning out across the track.

Dettori went for home on Master Of Reality, while Williams shot up the inside on Vow And Declare.

Prince Of Arran also made his move, with Wayne Lordan coming from a long way back on Il Paradiso.

The duo were closing rapidly, and may well have gone even closer, but Dettori drifted across to the far rail, checking Lordan and Il Paradiso, with just enough room left for Vow And Declare to be first past the post.

It was not to be for last year's winner Cross Counter who finished eighth, a place behind Finche, who was sent off favourite for Chris Waller and Kerrin McEvoy.

Raymond Tusk was not suited by the slow pace and finished 16th of 24, while this year's Ebor winner Mustajeer only beat one runner home.

Rostropovich, who finished last, sustained a stress fracture to his pelvis after pulling up lame but was reported to be in a stable condition.

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