Joseph O'Brien once again denied his father Aidan in the Lexus Melbourne Cup as Twilight Payment made all to lift the Group One contest at Flemington.
The trainer registered his first win when Rekindling held off O’Brien snr’s Johannes Vermeer by half a length in 2017, and the distance was the same this time around as Tiger Moth just failed to reel in the Jye McNeil-ridden winner.
Charlie Fellowes’ British raider Prince Of Arran, placed in the last two Melbourne Cups, came close to victory once again, finishing with purpose to be beaten a head in third, while The Chosen One was fourth in a race that was marred by the death of last year’s Derby winner Anthony Van Dyck.
Twilight Payment returned a local starting price of 25-1 (British and Irish industry SP 22-1), with Tiger Moth 11-2 (B&I industry SP 9-2), Prince Of Arran 17-2 (B&I industry SP 15-2) and The Chosen One 40-1 (33-1).
Of beating his father once again in Australia's most famous race, O’Brien told Sky Sports Racing: "We both realise how hard it is to win on the world stage in these big, big races, but I am very lucky that I have been able to win a couple of big races.
"Dad has been very lucky, he has won a lot of big races, I’d be delighted for him if he had won, and I’m sure he is for me having won. We do our best on the track and whatever happens out there happens.
"I was really too nervous to see what was going to happen. I was hardly able to watch, but it was a fantastic ride by Jye and a fantastic effort by all the lads with the horse."
McNeil executed a perfect frontrunning ride, with the field well strung out on the home turn before Twilight Payment, who was previously trained by Jim Bolger and finished 11th in the race last year for O'Brien, kept finding for pressure in the finish.
McNeil told www.racing.com: "I encouraged him to go forward, because that was the plan. Then he just found such a lovely tempo at the top. It was just a matter of amping the rhythm up at just the right stage and I am glad it all worked out.
"Joseph wanted me to be a step ahead of the field and really get them chasing. What he lacks in class, he makes up in his staying ability.
"I'm peaking on my run 200m out. I’m using all of my might not to use too many whips, very vocal, trying to encourage him.
"It was very surreal crossing the line in front. I’ve got goosebumps from then and they’re still here now."
O’Brien added: "Jye gave the horse a fantastic ride. Credit goes to the lads who have looked after Twilight Payment for the last month or so. They’ve done a fantastic job with the horses down there."
Kerrin McEvoy was thrilled with Tiger Moth’s effort in second, beaten half a length, on what was only his fifth career start, but there was a sting in the tail for the rider, who was fined $50,000 and banned for 13 meetings for misusing his whip.
McEvoy pleaded guilty to the charge after it was found he hit Moth 13 times before the 100-metre (half-furlong) mark and 21 times in total. He is not permitted to strike his mount more than five times before the 100-metre mark.
McEvoy said: "It was a great run for a young horse having only his fifth start in a race. He’s run really well."
Fellowes and rider Jamie Kah were ruing their luck after Prince Of Arran endured a troubled passage at the top of the straight, before flying home to claim third, adding to his second of last year and third in 2018.
The Newmarket handler said: "He’s a remarkable horse. He’s done everything right and if he had enjoyed a bit more luck, he could well have gone even closer.
"He was just very unlucky on the home bend. Jamie had him in a perfect position, she got him into a good rhythm and then he couldn’t find a run, which we knew was a risk from his draw, but he’s run a great race.
"Take nothing away from the winner though – Jye McNeil gave him a brilliant and brave ride from the front and he got his fractions absolutely spot on. The best horse won on the day."
Anthony Van Dyck was saddled with top weight after being edged out in the Caulfield Cup on his most recent outing, but he was pulled up by Hugh Bowman in the feature race.
Racing Victoria's executive general manager of integrity services Jamie Stier said: "It is with sadness that we confirm that Anthony Van Dyck had to be humanely euthanised after sustaining a fractured fetlock during the running of the Melbourne Cup at Flemington.
"The horse received immediate veterinary care, however he was unable to be saved due to the nature of the injury sustained.
"Our sympathies are extended to the owners of Anthony Van Dyck, trainer Aidan O'Brien and all his staff who cared for the horse and are greatly saddened by their loss."
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