Read what each of the jockeys had to say about the runs of their mounts in the 2020 Melbourne Cup at Flemington on Tuesday.
Winning Jockey: Jye McNeil
“Too many emotions. It’s a very big moment.
“Jess and the boy, Oakley, will be watching from home today. Unfortunately they couldn’t be here. I’m sure that they along with a lot of other people will be very proud.
“I’m not worried about the (empty) grandstand at all. To be able to get the opportunity from the Williams family to partner Twilight Payment today, not only them, but Joseph O’Brien who has done a fantastic job preparing him. It is very overwhelming.
The ride: “It was the plan to always be forward. Obviously with here he was in the market I wasn’t feeling a lot of pressure but when you’ve got to forward like that there is some pressure in getting it right. Thankfully it all came together.
At the clock tower: “I was confident. I had to think not to use the whip too many times. Also I was trying to use my voice to encourage him as much as possible. It was a matter of hanging on and he was very tough.
Jamie Mott on Vow And Declare: “He had a beautiful run. He felt quite strong with the blinkers but he just didn’t have anything to offer today once they quickened. Hopefully he can come back and get into his good form.”
Willie Pike on Steel Prince: “He ran well.”
Michael Rood on Mustajeer: “There might be an issue with him.”
Daniel Moor on Miami Bound: “We had a perfect run in transit but it seems she needs wet ground to find her best.”
James McDonald on Finche: “He’s gone super. He’s stayed on really well.”
Billy Egan on Etah James: “She gave me a lovely ride.”
Luke Currie on Warning: “He couldn’t quicken as well as some of those better ones.”
Jamie Kah on Prince Of Arran: “He was super unlucky. He really deserves it. He just had no luck on the turn.”
Daniel Stackhouse on The Chosen One: “I couldn’t be happier with the horse. He tried his heart out. He gave a bit of a scare coming into the corner and was travelling really well. He gave a good kick and tried really hard, but he just found the end just a little bit tough. He did well.
Kerrin McEvoy on Tiger Moth: “We were able to get across into a nice spot. We dropped in and got a nice lead and he travelled really well. The winner kept running, I just had to pick up to get into the race, which he did, but the winner was just a bit strong today. It was a great run for a young horse having only his fifth start in a race. He’s run really well.”
Declan Bates on Ashrun: “He’s run really well. He was a bit slow to muster from the wide gate so I just came back. It probably took a while for him to warm up into it, but the further I went the better he was going, but I was probably too far back. He didn’t have the gears to get there. He’s run well.”
Michael Dee on Persan: “If he’s going as good next year he’s going to be right in it. It was a massive effort. We wanted to go forward but in the end we didn’t have the speed, so I just had to tuck back and find cover where I could, ride the fence. He got a lovely run through and hit the line strong. To run so well, it was a huge thrill and it’s a credit to Ciaron (Maher) and Dave (Eustace) to keep the horse going for so long. And a massive credit to Jye McNeil as well.”
Ben Melham on Master Of Reality: “He felt the ground.”
Michael Walker on Dashing Willoughby: “He’s not right, the horse. He’s not right. Action-wise he’s not right.”
Craig Williams on Surprise Baby: “He looked like he was a little bit stressed when he was unsaddled. It’ll be really interesting to see how he pulls up. His performance was well below par for him and it will be interesting to see how he comes through the run physically.”
Jordan Childs on Stratum Albion: “He ran ok. We got up on a nice spot, travelled good. They were just a bit slick for him when the pace quickened.”
John Allen on Avilius: “Probably didn’t run the trip in the end.”
Damien Oliver on Russian Camelot: “He ran well. The two miles was just a bit far for him but he ran very brave.”
Mark Zahra on Verry Elleegant: “Ran really well. Just ended up too far back.”
Glen Boss on Sir Dragonet: “Just didn’t step. He just missed it a length which put me at a disadvantage. Ideally I would have liked to have been two or three pairs closer. There’ll be people that will say that he didn’t run the trip but unfortunately, at the 1200 (metre mark), when I’m 12 lengths away, I had to do a lot of work just to get myself into a winning position. Even if I just came through on the fence, I’m still using carrots up to get to that point. But he ran very well.”
Dean Yendall on Oceanex: “She went super. I rode her to run the top twelve. I got her into a lovely position, had cover, it was always going to be tricky from the barrier 17. I knew the spee was drawn outside of me but I still had the task of getting across and finding the right spot, which she did. She switched off lovely and I rode her to get the journey and also to help the owner get some prizemoney.”
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