MELBOURNE, Australia — Rekindling stormed home to win the Melbourne Cup by a long neck on Tuesday, overhauling Johannes Vermeer near the finish to give trainer Joseph O’Brien a victory over his famous father in Australia’s most famous race.
Max Dynamite was 2 + lengths further back in third to give the Irish a 1-2-3 finish in the 157th running of the 2-mile classic .
Joseph O’Brien said one of the first things he did was phone his father, Aidan O’Brien, who trains Johannes Vermeer but was not at Flemington for the race.
“He is delighted. Unbelievable,” the younger O’Brien said. “I’m just so thankful to (Williams). They suggested to bring (Rekindling) down and that he’d have a good chance in the race and his prep went really good, and Corey gave him an unbelievable ride.”
It was a second Melbourne Cup victory for jockey Corey Brown, and a sixth for owner Lloyd Williams, who is also a co-owner of Johannes Vermeer.
“It’s extraordinary, absolutely extraordinary,” Williams said of Joseph O’Brien, who won in his first attempt at the Melbourne Cup. Williams said the 24-year-old former jockey had a big future as a trainer. “He’s going to emulate his father and maybe more.”
Big Duke was the first Australian-trained horse across the line, finishing fourth, in a field containing 11 foreign horses.
British-based jockey Frankie Dettori rode 2016 winner Almandin, which finished 12th.