Superstar mare Verry Elleegant wins the 2021 Melbourne Cup in front of a 10,000-strong crowd at Flemington in extraordinary race and gallops her way into history
- $16.50 chance has beaten overwhelming favourite Incentivise to first place
- Winner was ridden by James McDonald and trained by Sydney’s Chris Waller
Verry Elleegant has beaten red-hot favourite Incentivise to win the Melbourne Cup in the race that stops the nation.
The $16.50 chance also outran Spanish Mission in third and Floating Artist in fourth to claim the famous race’s $8million prize.
The winner was ridden by James McDonald and trained by Sydney’s Chris Waller – who also claimed Winx.
Waller had agonised over whether the now-champion mare should race until minutes before the Saturday deadline.
The $4.4 million first prize takes the mare’s career prize money beyond the $14million mark.
Verry Elleegant has beaten red-hot favourite Incentivise to win the Melbourne Cup in the race that stops the nation. Jockey James McDonald is pictured riding the champion mare to victory
James McDonald puts his hand to his face as he celebrates his historic win on the back of Verry Elleegant
Outsider Future Score was earlier ruled out of the race after failing a veterinary test.
One of two runners inspected on race morning, Future Score was withdrawn because of lameness.
Future Score’s defection left a field of 23 to face the starter in the famous race after Delphi was passed fit.
Delphi, who has met with betting support at longer odds, was lame on Cup eve but satisfied Racing Victoria veterinarians of his soundness before Tuesday’s scratching deadline.
At $3 odds, Incentivise was shorter than any Cup runner since the great Phar Lap, which is extraordinary given back in March he ran third last in a Toowoomba maiden.
Incentivise’s trainer Peter Moody led Black Caviar to her extraordinary record of 25 successive wins, so knows how to sustain a hot streak.
Glammed-up punters earlier began spilling into Melbourne’s Flemington Racecourse for ‘the race that stops the nation’ – with the sartorial bar set early on by a woman bursting through the gates in a pastel power suit.
The fashionista led a host of attendees donned head-to-toe in pastel mini dresses, whimsical white lace numbers and bold patterned pieces keen to ensure all eyes were on them as they fought it out for prime position ahead of the iconic race at 3pm.
About 70 per cent of attendees at the 161st Melbourne Cup are Victoria Racing Club members with only five per cent of tickets offered to members of the public.
Punters enjoy their Melbourne Cup Day at Flemington on Tuesday as Australia prepared for ‘the race that stops the nation’
Glammed-up punters earlier in the day began spilling into Melbourne ‘s Flemington Racecourse for ‘the race that stops the nation’
A woman in a baby pink power suit has set the bar for fashionable arrivals at the 2021 Melbourne Cup
The glamorous punter wore a matching pink pantsuit with a blue tie and striking white hat
Another glamorous arrival opted for a peach mini-dress and accessorised with a large pink bow and white bag
The rest of the crowd are made up of horse owners, corporate sponsors and trainers.
Those who didn’t snag a ticket for the race can watch from home with 10 people including dependents allowed in private residences and 30 in public spaces outdoors.
Hospitality venues are packed to the brim with fully vaccinated punters who may struggle to stay seated as rules request when the major race kicks off at 3pm.
Punters are separated into three zones they cannot stray from and will need to be fully vaccinated, wear a mask indoors and be seated to eat and drink.
Trainer Matthew Cumani meahwile slammed Racing Victoria for the ‘ultra-conservative’ rules that meant Future Score was pulled from the race after showing signs of lameness in his right foreleg.
Flemington Racecourse will welcome back 10,000 vaccinated punters after the race ran crowd-less last year due to Covid-19
He claimed the seven-year-old gelding presented the same way going into the Cranbourne Cup, which he won.
The last-minute decision comes after safety measures for Cup Runners were ramped-up following the deaths of six horses in the last seven years.
‘Just very sad for the owners of the horse, we thought he was a better chance than 200-1, he was really peaking for this week,’ Cumani told SEN on Tuesday morning.
‘I think there’s a lot of pressure on Racing Victoria to be ultra, ultra conservative. And for them it was a real margin call, it went down to 7.29am to make the decision.
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