Gai Waterhouse’s Fiorente wins the 2013 Melbourne Cup

Caption: Clear favourite Fiorente wins the 2013 Melbourne Cup, giving trainer Gai Waterhouse her first win, and the first win by an Australian female trainer. Fiorente won from Red Cadeaux and Mount Athos at Flemington racecourse. The 24-horse race was said to be one of the strongest in recent memory.


Fiorente has won the 2013 Melbourne Cup in a thrilling finish from Red Cadeaux and Mount Athos.

The 2013 edition of the race became a battle of two horses who had been previous runners-up, and the Gai Waterhouse-trained Fiorente, second in last year’s Melbourne Cup, showed greater stamina over the final 250 metres to hold out Red Cadeaux, the runner-up to Dunaden in 2011.

It is a famous win for Sydney trainer Waterhouse, the most prominent figure in Australian racing, who had long coveted her first success in the nation’s greatest race.

But it is also a personal triumph for jockey Damien Oliver, who was suspended over a betting charge last year, and controversially allowed back to riding in time for this year’s spring carnival.

Some punters booed the famous hoop when he came back to scale. One veteran racing scribe said sections of the members at Flemington and the public were venting their feelings towards the jockey, who was banned for betting on a horse in a race in which he was riding another chance.

It is Oliver’s third Cup win after success aboard Doriemus in 1995 and Media Puzzle in 2002. The latter was an emotional victory coming in the week his revered brother, also a jockey, died after a track accident.

Fiorente remained a good value favourite all day after a perfect preparation, which included a slogging third in the Cox Plate after a tough run. He finished second as an outsider last year when having his first run for Waterhouse, but thrived under her guidance during a copybook campaign this time in.

Fiorente settled deep in the field but gradually got within striking distance, hitting the front over 300 metres out. Red Cadeaux, which had raced handy to the lead, but wide on the track, kept fighting on, but it was clear that Fiorente had the energy to hold him out in the run home.

Oliver, interviewed by Channel Seven after the race, said he had not wanted to settle so deep in the field, but the pacesetters “went real hard early”.

He said it was a privilege to win the race for Waterhouse.

“It’s amazing, it’s a dream come true,” he said.

“I’m so rapt that I could be part of Gai’s first one. She’s done so much for racing and it’s a great honour for me to help bring home her first one.

“Gai was one of the first people to get behind me when I came back and I can’t thank her enough for helping me get going again and we have been a great team together.”

Fiorente, who ran second to Green Moon in last year’s race, started the $7 favourite with Red Cadeaux at $61 and Mount Athos going out at $13. Irish stayer Simenon made a long run in the race and fought on bravely for fourth with Dandino taking fifth.

Caulfield Cup winner Fawkner was the first Australian-bred horse across the line, finishing sixth, after trailing the field for most of the journey, in the company of Sea Moon.

Waterhouse paid Oliver the ultimate compliment for his ride.

“He rode him a treat,” she said.

“He got back to about 12th and it was quite a solidly run race and then he just kept tracking up and tracking up. He was just fantastic, it’s a dream come true.”

Those keen for the lead included Lexus Stakes winner Ruscello, who fought hard to grab the lead as the field turned out of the straight the first time, Tres Blue, Brown Panther and Mount Athos, who moved into the box seat in fourth place after 800 metres.

Red Cadeaux paid a high price for his big weight and wide barrier of 23. Perched three and four wide for most of the race, his effort to hold on for a clear second was exceptional, and put a lie to those who felt he was a spent force, despite placings in elite group one races worldwide in the past 12 months.

Mount Athos also put in a strong effort to hold his place in the top five throughout, and he outstayed many behind him to take out third. However, the race belonged to the two previous bridesmaids. Red Cadeaux was brave enough to make the favourite’s win less dominant than it otherwise might have been.

1. Fiorente
2. Red Cadeaux
3. Mount Athos
4. Simenon
5. Dandino
6. Fawkner
7. Ethiopia
8. Brown Panther
9. Super Cool
10. Voleuse de Coeurs
11. Dunaden
12. Seville
13. Sea Moon
14. Royal Empire
15. Mourayan
16. Ibicenco
17. Foreteller
18. Masked Marvel
19. Dear Demi
20. Hawkspur
21. Green Moon
22. Tres Blue
23. Ruscello
DNF. Verema

7.00 fav FIORENTE (A T Roberts, McClure Ferguson Oman (Mgr: P C McClure), K R Wood, Fesen Pty Ltd (Mgr: P Pollicina), B Pang, Bongiorno Herron (Mgr: R M Herron), D J Deykin, Team McDonnell (Mgr: J S McDonnell, Henderson Racing (Mgr: D A Henderson) & Fiorente, Mgr: T Mitevski’s br h 6y Monsun (GER) – Desert Bloom (IRE). Trainer: Ms G Waterhouse) 55 (D Oliver) 1,
61.00 RED CADEAUX 56.5 (G Mosse) 2,
13.00 MOUNT ATHOS 54 (Craig Williams) 3.
Then followed: 20.00 Simenon 53.5 (R D Hughes) 10.00 Dandino 54.5 (Ryan Moore) 16.00 Fawkner 54.5 (Nicholas Hall) 81.00 Ethiopia 54.5 (R Mc Leod) 20.00 Brown Panther 55 (R Kingscote) 41.00 Super Cool 54.5 (C W Brown) 18.00 Voleuse De Coeurs 54 (J B Mc Donald) 61.00 Dunaden 58.5 (J P Spencer) 18.00 Seville 54.5 (J Bowman) 11.00 Sea Moon 56.5 (S W Arnold) 21.00 Royal Empire 54 (K Mc Evoy) 151.00 Mourayan 54.5 (B Avdulla) 71.00 Ibicenco 53 (L Nolen) 31.00 Foreteller 55 (C Newitt) 41.00 Masked Marvel 54 carr 54.5 (M Rodd) 21.00 Dear Demi 51 (C Munce) 16.00 Hawkspur 53.5 (J A Cassidy) 31.00 Green Moon 57.5 (B Prebble) 26.00 Tres Blue 51 (Tommy Berry) 51.00 Ruscello 50 (C Schofield) last. 17.00 Verema 53 (C P Lemaire) failed to finish.
All started.
3/4 len, 1-1/2 len.
Time: 3:20.30. (Last 600m 35.56).

– with AAP

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