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Australian bred and trained Vow And Declare has held off the international challenge to win the Melbourne Cup

Australian-bred and trained Vow And Declare has held off the international challenge to win the Melbourne Cup, giving jockey Craig Williams his first success in Australia’s greatest race.

The win was also a first for trainer Danny O’Brien with Vow And Declare crossing the line ahead of Master Of Reality, Prince Of Arran and Il Paradiso.

A protest on behalf of the fourth-placed Il Paradiso, against the runner-up for interference over the final 100m, was upheld.

The decision relegated the Frankie Dettori-ridden Master Of Reality to fourth with Prince Of Arran gaining second and Il Paradiso promoted to third.

Williams famously missed the winning ride on the French-trained Dunaden in the 2011 Melbourne Cup because of suspension.

Eight years later, Williams joins Neville Sellwood, Roy Higgins, Pat Hyland, Mick Dittman, Jim Cassidy, Damien Oliver and Chris Munce as the only jockeys to win the “grand slam” of Australian racing – the Golden Slipper, Caulfield Cup, Cox Plate and Melbourne Cup.

“It’s great to be associated with a great horse like this horse,” Williams said.

In a desperate finish involving four horses, the Danny O’Brien-trained Vow And Declare took an inside run and put his head down when it counted to win in a photo finish.

The margins involving the placegetters across the line were a head between first and second with a nose to third.

For O’Brien the win was one that meant everything.

The trainer was involved in a protracted battle with officials over a cobalt case which he eventually won but the process took its toll on his business.

“It doesn’t get much better than this,” he said.

Runner-up in the Caulfield Cup, Vow And Declare started at $11 with Prince Of Arran at $17 and Il Paradiso a $15 chance.

Rostropovich was last of the 24 runners.

Results:

Finish No. Horse Trainer Jockey Margin Bar. Weight
1 23 VOW AND DECLARE Danny O’Brien Craig Williams 21 52kg
2 12 PRINCE OF ARRAN (GB) Charlie Fellowes Michael Walker 0.2L 8 54kg
3 20 IL PARADISO (USA) Aidan O’Brien Wayne Lordan 0.3L 17 52.5kg
4 3 MASTER OF REALITY (IRE) Joseph O’Brien Frankie Dettori 0.4L 1 55.5kg
5 18 SURPRISE BABY (NZ) Paul Preusker Jordan Childs 0.9L 20 53.5kg
6 2 MER DE GLACE (JPN) Hisashi Shimizu Damian Lane 1.2L 2 56kg
7 11 FINCHE (GB) Chris Waller Kerrin McEvoy 1.4L 4 54kg
8 1 CROSS COUNTER (GB) Charlie Appleby William Buick 1.6L 5 57.5kg
9 21 STEEL PRINCE (IRE) Anthony Freedman Brett Prebble 2.1L 16 52.5kg
10 15 MAGIC WAND (IRE) Aidan O’Brien Ryan Moore 3.6L 24 53.5kg
11 10 TWILIGHT PAYMENT (IRE) Joseph O’Brien Hugh Bowman 3.8L 19 55kg
12 17 SOUND (GER) Michael Moroney James Winks 3.9L 10 53.5kg
13 19 CONSTANTINOPLE (IRE) David & B Hayes & T Dabernig Joao Moreira 4.1L 7 52.5kg
14 4 MIRAGE DANCER (GB) Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young Ben Melham 4.3L 13 55.5kg
15 6 HUNTING HORN (IRE) Aidan O’Brien Seamie Heffernan 4.5L 11 55kg
16 13 RAYMOND TUSK (IRE) Richard Hannon Jamie Spencer 5L 3 54kg
17 22 THE CHOSEN ONE (NZ) Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman Tim Clark 5.2L 18 52kg
18 7 LATROBE (IRE) Joseph O’Brien James McDonald 6.45L 22 55kg
19 5 SOUTHERN FRANCE (IRE) Ciaron Maher & David Eustace Mark Zahra 6.55L 14 55.5kg
20 24 YOUNGSTAR Chris Waller Tommy Berry 7.3L 9 52kg
21 16 NEUFBOSC (FR) David & B Hayes & T Dabernig Luke Nolen 8.3L 23 53.5kg
22 14 DOWNDRAFT (IRE) Joseph O’Brien John Allen 8.6L 15 53.5kg
23 8 MUSTAJEER (GB) Kris Lees Damien Oliver 10.85L 6 55kg
24 9 ROSTROPOVICH (IRE) David & B Hayes & T Dabernig Dwayne Dunn 40.85L 12 55kg
 
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