The Melbourne Cup 2015 results are almost in, Prince of Penzance has won the “Race That Stops A Nation.”
This year’s race was a historic one, as Michelle Payne became the first woman to ever win the Melbourne Cup. It also represented quite an upset, as Prince of Penzance came in at $101 odds.
Going into the race, Fame Game was seen as the odds-on favorite, with $4.60 odds early in the day. But, when the race concluded, Fame Game failed to make the final three. Max Dynamite came in second, while Criterion took third.
There were many differing opinions on how the Melbourne Cup 2015 results would go. Lee Freedman, himself a five-time Melbourne Cup winner, trained Our Ivanhowe but said he saw Kiki Criterion as a good candidate to win.
“The class horse is Criterion,” Freedman told Sky Sports Radio(via News.com.au). I know there are question marks about whether he can handle the two-miles, but in a race like this class can take you a long way. At some stage he will be up there right in the firing line.”
There was at least one person with a lot of faith in Sertorius. William Hill Australia chief Tom Waterhouse placed a $2 million bet on the horse.
“It’s unbelievable it’s such a big price,” he said (via Stuff.co). “[Sertorius] and Fame Game… we have big liabilities against them. And also the dynamics have changed quite a bit since we’ve been betting in play. The horses that are a big liability before the race – especially if they get a good start – can be really bad for us.”
— Nine News Melbourne (@9NewsMelb) November 2, 2015
Race day itself brought fantastic track conditions. Though there was still a section in the middle of the track that was soft earlier in the day, officials believed it would be improved by the time the race posted after 3 p.m. local time.
Racing Victoria handicapper Greg Carpenter even noted that race day conditions may have been the best in the the race’s history.
“It’s a beautiful, sunny day in Melbourne, so I think we’re going to deliver a very even playing field today for the 24 horses that have come from all over the world,” he said (via ABC.net.au). “I think we’ve been really lucky this year,” one of the Melbourne journalists said yesterday. “It’s the greatest race ever run in Australia.”
— Spring Carnival (@springcarnival) November 2, 2015
Others were worried that the soft stretch could wreak havoc on the horses.
“If horses are not swooping wide early in the day, it could become a health and safety issue in the Cup,” said trainer David Hayes, who has Criterion and Almoonqith in the Cup. “If they can’t win out wide, which is where so many Cups have been won, then they are all going to try to get to the inside and the track will be as bad as it was on Derby Day.
As last year’s Melbourne Cup showed, the race itself can be quite unpredictable. The pre-race favorite, Admire Rakti, who had just won the Caulfield Cup a few weeks before the race, finished last and then collapsed in the stalls and died.
Surgeons determined that the horse died of a massive heart attack.
“I felt something was wrong unfortunately and I didn’t push him out otherwise it might have happened earlier,” said jockey Zac Purton (via the Herald Sun).
Many believed the horse would become the first since Ehtereael in 2001 to sweep both the Caulfield Cup and Melbourne Cup. Admire Rakti was also the second horse to die in as many years, with Verema collapsing in the back stretch in 2013.
The deaths led to a protest from an interest group, Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses, which protested at Flemington Racecourse.
“Racing does kills horses and we think a lot more needs to be done to make horse racing safer,” said Ward Young, the group’s spokesman. “These incidents are a lot more frequent than people know about.”
The full Melbourne Cup 2015 results can be found here.
[Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images]