Son beats father in thrilling finish to Melbourne Cup

Joseph O'Brien is used to making headlines and he did so again at Flemington on Tuesday when he became one of the youngest trainers to win the Melbourne Cup, and his first runner in Australia, Rekindling, became the first northern hemisphere three-year-old to win Australia's greatest race.

The 24-year-old, son of the world's leading trainer Aidan O'Brien, gave Lloyd Williams a record breaking sixth Melbourne Cup victory and his fourth in the last 11 years following the triumphs with Efficient (2007), Green Moon (2012) and Almandin last year.

It was also a second Cup triumph for jockey Corey Brown, who had succeeded on the Mark Kavanagh-trained Shocking in 2009.

For the Sydney-based Brown it was vindication of his decision to return after four years in Singapore. He had quit local racing after becoming disillusioned with the way his career was going, but it is very much back on track now.

O'Brien's career has rarely known a downward turn. He was a classic winning champion jockey until weight forced him to quit the saddle at the age of 22, and now he is poised to follow in his father's footsteps following Rekindling's thrilling triumph - ironically enough over the Williams owned Johannes Vermeer, trained by O'Brien snr.

Third home was another international, Willie Mullins' Max Dynamite, who had run second in Prince Of Penzance's history-making win for Michelle Payne two years ago.

Eight of the first 10 home were foreign trained, with only the Darren Weir prepared former English stayer Big Duke (fourth) and Libran, another ex-English galloper now with Chris Waller, eighth.

The Irish have a great reputation as horsemen and they proved it again here, with the trifecta being trained in the Emerald Isle. Mullins managed to get three runners from his County Carlow stable into the race and all three picked up cheques. In addition to Max Dynamite, Thomas Hobson ran sixth and Wicklow Brave 10th.

O'Brien was, naturally, elated to have made such an impression at his first attempt.

"I can't quite believe it yet. I just so thankful to Lloyd [Williams] and Nick (Williams), they suggested bringing him down and that he'd have a good chance in the race."

"His prep went really good, Corey gave him an unbelievable ride and I'm just so delighted for all the team and the lads at home. The lads that have been with him out here have done a tremendous job. I can't quite believe it. This is unbelievable, it hasn't sunk in."

Williams is getting used to success at Flemington, but he never tires of his Cup triumphs.

"We bought him as a yearling and when Joseph got his license we gave the horse to Joseph. It's absolutely a dream. I'm so thrilled."

"I thought this horse had some chance because his run in the (English St) Leger was good and I've been saying to people the three-year-old form over there (in Europe) is very good."

Brown was equally thrilled. "Honestly it's so special, I've got my family down here with me, the girls, they're old enough to come to the races now and enjoy it. I'm lost for words, I can't believe I did it again."

It was a day of drama in which ace Brazilian jockey Joao Moreira took a heavy fall early in the day and had to be replaced by young apprentice Ben Allen aboard Thomas Hobson.

Punters opened their wallets and wagered almost $90 million on the race across the NSW, Victorian and ACT TABs.

Rekindling paid $16.30 for the win on the NSW TAB and $17.10 on SuperTAB. His final TAB fixed odds price was $15, having opened at $51.

The biggest fixed odds bet TAB took today on Rekindling was $3,000 to win $48,000.

The crowd was 90,536 - a good figure given the weather and the fact that Flemington's members stand is being rebuilt.

This story Son beats father in thrilling finish to Melbourne Cup first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.