Green Moon gives owner fourth Melbourne Cup
European import Green Moon provided his late sire, Montjeu, with yet another feather in his cap, coming with a stinging late run off a perfect trip to register a one-length success from the Gai Waterhouse-trained Fiorente in Tuesday's Group 1 Melbourne Cup at Flemington.
The globe-trotting Jakkalberry, recently acquired by Australian interests and exiting a third to defending Melbourne Cup champion Dunaden in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup, sat a midfield trip and stayed on late to finish a gallant third.
The win was the first in the race for Australian-born and Hong Kong-based Brett Prebble.
"You never think you can get any higher until you get to the pinnacle," commented the winning rider, whose previous finest hours have come aboard top Hong Kong sprinters Sacred Kingdom and Lucky Nine. "At the 1200-meter (mark), I knew nothing was going to go with him if he lasted the journey. I've watched it plenty of times in disappointment, (now) I'm going to go home and enjoy it."
Campaigned in Europe by his breeders with trainer Harry Dunlop, Green Moon defeated this year's Group 1 Dubai World Cup hero Monterosso (Ire) in a Newbury handicap in May 2010 and added his most important victory on those shores when taking the Fairway Stakes later that month.
Exported to Australia soon after, the bay returned from a 133-day absence to annex the Group 2 Blamey Stakes at Flemington March 10, but was not seen again until finishing a decent fifth in the Group 2 Memsie Stakes at Caulfield September 1. Tighter for that effort, Green Moon missed by a nose in the Group 2 Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes September 15.
A half-length success in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes going 2000 meters at Flemington earned him a quote of 4-1 favoritism for the Group 1 Cox Plate at Moonee Valley, but he had a troubled passage that afternoon and was beaten six lengths into seventh.
Glencadam Gold jumped well from a barrier seven and took them along early on at just a moderate gallop, as Green Moon, drawn a bit further inside was checked hard after the opening furlong and settled down on the fence in about seventh position. Americain, the 2010 Melbourne Cup hero, was able to get in from a wide alley to settle on the inside in mid-division, while Dunaden was off a bit awkwardly and drifted back in the field. Red Cadeaux, who missed by a nose last year, was also one of the back markers as they raced past the clock tower for the first time.
Glencadam Gold took them into the first turn and down the side of the course as there was little change of position behind, bar Mount Athos, who covered ground and made some ground in the middle stages. The front-runner still held the call as the field reached the final six furlongs, but Green Moon looked poised in behind, as did the former Sir Michael Stoute trainee Fiorente, who was having his first start since a fourth to Orfevre in Longchamp's Group 2 Prix Foy September 16. The Waterhouse trainee cornered for home going well, but Green Moon peeled off the inside and found running room four off the inside. He struck the front at the 200-meter marker and was never in real danger thereafter, as Fiorente and Jakkalberry closed some ground late. Kelinni, the low-weight in the 24-strong field, ran a blinder in fourth, while Mount Athos finished well to be fifth.
It was the fourth Cup win for owner Australian property developer Lloyd Williams, who won his first in 1981 with Just a Dash. He was also represented by What a Nuisance in 1985 and Efficient in 2007. While the elder Williams was not in attendance, his son Lloyd was there to accept the spoils.
"I'm just ecstatic," Williams told Australian Associated Press. "I'm just so proud for all our team at the farm, everyone puts in so much time and effort and of course led by Dad and it's another Melbourne Cup triumph for team Williams. We put a lot of money into it (Melbourne Cup) and a heck of a lot of effort and so to get this result today is terrific and I'm just so excited and so happy for all our people."
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