Racing leviathan Lloyd Williams won his fifth Melbourne Cup - a record - when his galloper Almandin wore down Irish raider Heartbreak City in a war of attrition down the Flemington straight to take the 156th Melboune Cup with jockey Kerrin McEvoy. Another Godolphin candidate, Qewy, ran on well to take fourth place ahead of the Chris Waller trained Who Shot The Barman.
He said it was his first day at a Melbourne Cup for 20 years and he hadn't been trackside to watch one of his horses win since What A Nuisance scored in 1985.
"This horse has been set for this race as far back as July.he's gone through the pain barriers".
Godolphin had five runners in the 2016 Melbourne Cup, including race favourite Hartnell - who finished third - and fourth-placed Qewy.
But he now spends most of his time on his farm at Mt Macedon overseeing a team of horses and studying northern hemisphere form to source his next victor of a race he helped make an global event. "It's great to be part of it again for my second Cup". "I'm extremely proud of him".
McEvoy piloted Almandin to pip Heartbreak City by a nose at Flemington, in a ride Williams hailed as "probably as good as I've seen in a Melbourne Cup".
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The race is one of the most prestigious and lucrative on the horse-racing calender, with an estimated AUS $3.6m up for grabs. "It's the only year I haven't been on a blue horse and they had a big strong team. He was so fresh and he travelled like a star the whole way, I was never off the bridle".
Despite agonizingly losing out to German gelding Almandin in a thrilling Melbourne Cup finale, Shiels celebrated as if he'd galloped to victory himself.
"They've learnt a lot this year - I know Charlie has - and they're going to be back bigger and stronger", McEvoy said.
The only other Hong Kong-based jockey competing in the race, Chad Schofield, finished 12th on Oceanographer, the Godolphin-trained stayer failing to reproduce his trademark sprint and found to be lame post-race.
Her minders rushed to her side and tried to block anyone from getting a photo of the incident, which only lasted a few seconds.
"It made me readjust to what we were doing down in Melbourne", McEvoy said.