The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
Ireland’s Joseph O’Brien has secured his second ‘Loving Trophy’ with his eight-year-old stayer Twilight Payment defeating fellow Irish raider Tiger Moth (2nd) and the now three-time placed European Prince Of Arran in an all-international 2020 Melbourne Cup trifecta result.
O’Brien won the ‘race that stops a nation’ back in 2017 with Rekindling and returned to salute again three years on in the 160th edition of the Group 1 $8 million Lexus Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington.
It was a Melbourne Cup never to be forgotten with COVID-19 seeing the spectacular two-mile classic run to a nearly empty grandstand.
Eight internationals lined-up in the field and three of those dominated the official Melbourne Cup 2020 results as O’Brien’s son of Teofilo turned it into an out-and-out staying test dominating from the front.
Eleventh in the race last year behind Vow And Declare, Twilight Payment enjoyed a subsequent Curragh Cup win in July and came off a third in the Irish St Leger.
With young Jye McNeil securing the mount, the 25-year-old jockey celebrated his biggest career success in his maiden appearance in a Melbourne Cup giving the winner an incredible front-running ride.
“I had to be positive because he was a little bit slow into gear. He jumped with them, but he was a touch slow to really find his rhythm,” McNeil told Racing.com post-win.
“I encouraged him to go forward because that was the plan, and then he just found such a lovely tempo at the top, he got into a fantastic rhythm, breathing really well, and then it was just a matter of amping the tempo up at the right stage, I’m just glad it all worked out.
“I’m peaking on my run 200m out, I’m using all my might not to use too many whips, very vocal trying to encourage him. It was very surreal crossing the line, I had goosebumps then and I still have them now.”
Three-time Melbourne Cup winning hoop Kerrin McEvoy gave his mount, the Aidan O’Brien-trained favourite Tiger Moth, every chance with a peach of a ride but couldn’t reel in the winner who won the Cup at 25/1.
“That’s exactly what Joseph wanted, he wanted me to be a step ahead of the field and really get them chasing, because what he sort of lacked in class he really makes up for in his staying ability, so that was always the plan that Joseph expressed to me and I’m glad it worked,” McNeil added speaking of his front-running tactics.
It was still a very brave performance by the beaten favourite Tiger Moth who was having just his fifth career start.
Prince Of Arran meanwhile stamped himself as the next Red Cadeaux, Charlie Fellowes’ English galloper recording his third Melbourne Cup placing after a third to Cross Counter in 2018 and official second to Vow And Declare (post-protest) in 2019.
By the halfway point, McNeil had secured the front in the Melbourne Cup with Twilight Payment bowling out to a huge lead from Tiger Moth in a strung-out field and it the on-pace duo who finished on top in the quinella.
Twilight Payment really quickened the pace over the final 1000m, the eventual 2020 Melbourne Cup winning time of 3 minutes 17.34 seconds the fastest since fellow Irish champion Media Puzzle (3:16.97 in 2002).
The result saw goliath owner Lloyd Williams celebrate his incredible seventh success in the Melbourne Cup race.
Rounding out the Melbourne Cup First Four in an enormous run just nudging out Persan for fourth was Kiwi galloper The Chosen One.
The Melbourne Cup 2020 was marred by the breaking down of the top-weight, Aidan O’Brien’s Caulfield Cup runner-up Anthony Van Dyck who was pulled up by jockey Hugh Bowman 350m out from the winning post.
2020 Melbourne Cup Results & Finishing Order
|1||6||TWILIGHT PAYMENT (IRE)||Joseph O’Brien||Jye McNeil||12||55.5kg||$26|
|2||21||TIGER MOTH (IRE)||Aidan O’Brien||Kerrin McEvoy||0.4L||22||52.5kg||2.5kg||$6.50|
|3||12||PRINCE OF ARRAN (GB)||Charlie Fellowes||Jamie Kah||0.6L||1||54.5kg||$9.50|
|4||17||THE CHOSEN ONE (NZ)||Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman||Daniel Stackhouse||2.35L||5||53.5kg||$41|
|5||24||PERSAN||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||Michael Dee||2.45L||19||51kg||1.0kg||$41|
|6||5||SIR DRAGONET (IRE)||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||Glen Boss||3.45L||14||55.5kg||$12|
|7||7||VERRY ELLEEGANT (NZ)||Chris Waller||Mark Zahra||3.85L||15||55.5kg||0.5kg||$10|
|8||15||RUSSIAN CAMELOT (IRE)||Danny O’Brien||Damien Oliver||3.95L||16||53.5kg||$13|
|9||11||FINCHE (GB)||Chris Waller||James McDonald||4.7L||6||54.5kg||$21|
|10||18||ASHRUN (FR)||Andreas Wohler||Declan Bates||4.8L||23||53kg||$26|
|11||22||OCEANEX (NZ)||Mick Price & Michael Kent (Jnr)||Dean Yendall||5.55L||17||51.5kg||$81|
|12||19||WARNING||Anthony & Sam Freedman||Luke Currie||6.8L||8||53kg||$41|
|13||13||SURPRISE BABY (NZ)||Paul Preusker||Craig Williams||8.8L||7||54.5kg||$6F|
|14||23||MIAMI BOUND (NZ)||Danny O’Brien||Daniel Moor||10.55L||13||51kg||$41|
|15||4||MASTER OF REALITY (IRE)||Joseph O’Brien||Ben Melham||10.75L||11||56kg||$19|
|16||16||STEEL PRINCE (IRE)||Anthony & Sam Freedman||William Pike||10.95L||20||53.5kg||1.0kg||$31|
|17||20||ETAH JAMES (NZ)||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||Billy Egan||12.7L||21||52.5kg||$101|
|18||3||VOW AND DECLARE||Danny O’Brien||Jamie Mott||13.95L||4||57kg||$61|
|19||8||MUSTAJEER (GB)||Kris Lees||Michael Rodd||14.95L||2||55kg||$101|
|20||9||STRATUM ALBION (GB)||Willie Mullins||Jordan Childs||17.95L||9||55kg||$31|
|21||10||DASHING WILLOUGHBY (GB)||Andrew Balding||Michael Walker||19.2L||18||54.5kg||$101|
|22||2||AVILIUS (GB)||James Cummings||John Allen||20.95L||10||57kg||$61|
|FF||1||ANTHONY VAN DYCK (IRE)||Aidan O’Brien||Hugh Bowman||3||58.5kg||$10|
|14||KING OF LEOGRANCE (FR)||Danny O’Brien||Damian Lane||0|
*Table Credit: Racing Australia.
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