Melbourne Cup: Rekindling wins Australia’s famous race


Sports Desk

Max Dynamite finished third in a 1-2-3 for Irish-trained horses at Flemington. Johannes Vermeer looked set to bring another big triumph for record-breaking trainer Aidan O’Brien. But it was his son Joseph, 24, who claimed victory at the first attempt with jockey Corey Brown taking the lead on Rekindling in the closing stages. Known as the “race that stops a nation”, the event is the world’s richest two-mile handicap, worth A$6.2m (£3.6m) and watched by 90,000 people at the track. Joseph O’Brien only began training in June 2016 after retiring from a successful riding career aged 22, and becomes the youngest trainer to win in the 157th running of the race. He said his father, who is on holiday in Barbados and has never won the Melbourne Cup, had called to congratulate him. “I can’t quite believe it. I’m just so delighted for everyone,” the winning trainer said. “This is unbelievable. It hasn’t really sunk in yet.” Jockey Corey Brown poses with the Melbourne Cup next to winning trainer Joseph O’Brien Australian racehorse owner Lloyd Williams, who had the first two home as he celebrated a sixth Melbourne Cup triumph, praised the trainer. “I’m proud of this young man. He’s an absolute star,” said Williams. “I am absolutely thrilled to have done it with Aidan’s son, it’s like a dream come true.” Favourite Marmelo, trained by Hughie Morrison, was among the leaders around the turn to raise hopes of a first British winner, but faded from contention to finish ninth. Brown timed his run to perfection on the three-year-old Rekindling – the youngest victor for 76 years – to win for the second time after success with Shocking in 2009. “It’s a dream to win the race again. I’m just lost for words,” said the 41-year-old jockey. Big Duke was the best Australian-trained finisher in fourth, with the first Scottish runner Nakeeta in fifth. Thomas Hobson, a stablemate of third-placed Max Dynamite (who was also second in 2015 for Irish trainer Willie Mullims), was sixth under 18-year-old Ben Allen, after jockey Joao Moreira was injured in a fall earlier on the card. Last year’s winner Almandin, ridden by Frankie Dettori, was 12th.