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Viewed Takes the Melbourne Cup

Well, another Melbourne Cup is in the books, and contrary to the pre-race hype, the Cup stayed in Australian hands. The hands in question are certainly familiar — the win by Viewed gave trainer Bart Cummings his twelfth victory in the race and his 250th Group 1 win overall.

Val has a great wrap-up (and video of the race) here; we both found it rather peculiar that the three Ballydoyle horses finished 18th (Septimus), 20th (Alessandro Volta) and 21st out of the 22 horse field (Honolulu). Indeed, the only reason Honolulu didn’t finish officially last is because Gallopin was pulled up with what sounds like a flipped palate. Septimus and Honolulu were both discovered to be lame after the race and it was suggested that the lack of a prep race prior to the big day may have contributed to their difficulties. Adding to the low feelings in the Irish camp was some (more) questioning from the stewards over the Ballydoyle jockeys’ tactics, but in the end they seemed satisfied that nothing untoward took place. Aidan O’Brien seemed to consider the hard turf the cause of both the poor performances and subsequent lameness — obviously, it’s always the surface — but he’ll still be back for another try next year.

And now back to the winner, Viewed, who held off English rival Bauer by the slimmest of margins: he won as quite the outsider and paid a handsome $186 to win. It was a good day for the bookies:

“One punter backed the three (Aidan) O’Brien horses to win $1million each,” said bookmakers supervisor Michael Eddelbuttel. “Another had $100,000 on Mad Rush at $6. The main rails bookies paid out about $1.5million so it (Viewed) was a great result for them,” Eddelbuttel said.

Ouch.

While Bart Cummings is an old hand at this (literally, as he turns 81 later this month), this is 21-year-old jockey Blake Shinn’s first win in the historic race. It was also the fourth win for owner Dato Tan Chin Nam (also in his 80s), who has worked with Cummings for more than 30 years.

As for Viewed himself, here is a brief family history, which notes he’s really only a ‘first generation Australian.’ Although nothing in his form indicated he was sitting on a huge win, Cummings seems to think the 5-year-old’s best days are in front of him. It will certainly be interesting to watch.

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