Eales Racing's Shocking coasted to a three-quarters length victory over European invader Crime Scene to win the 149th running of the $5,500,000 Emirates Melbourne Cup (Aus-I) at Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne, Victoria Nov. 2.
Trained by Mark Kavanagh, who collected his first win in “the race that stops a nation,” Shocking covered the two-mile distance on a course listed as ‘dead’ in 3:23.87. The victory was worth $3,300,000 and increased the inexperienced Shocking’s earnings to $3,731,025 for his fifth victory in 15 lifetime starts.
Kavanagh had suffered a run of bad luck this spring with the loss of two star gallopers in Maldivian and Cats Whisker to injuries, and earlier in the week was forced to scratch VRC Derby (Aus-I) favorite Shamoline Warrior due to a lung infection.
Ridden by Corey Brown, who only inherited the mount after the Street Cry youngster’s lead up win in the Lexus Stakes (Aus-III) at Flemington, Shocking was content to sit three-wide and mid-pack through the first 1 1/4 miles of the race as Warringah led with Roman Emperor and Fiumicino in closest pursuit.
This was Brown’s first victory in the antipodean classic, and the rider’s Melbourne Cup desire was fueled after last year’s devastating second place finish aboard Bauer, who looked to have the race won only to see the agonizing photo finish reveal a nose margin between it and the victor.
Approaching the far turn, Brown began to move after the leaders and turning into the stretch Shocking moved outside of the eventual runner-up Crime Scene, who had taken a brief lead at the 300 meter mark. Shocking put away that rival with one furlong remaining and was never threatened in the run to the wire.
Shocking, with an impost of only 112 pounds, started a 10-1 chance in Australia and returned $12.20 as part of the mutual field in a separate North American pool. Crime Scene was 40-1 at the jump finishing two lengths ahead of Mourilyan, with Master O’Reilly rounding out the placings.
The field was reduced to 23 runners when the David Hayes trained Changingoftheguard was controversially scratched in the morning upon veterinary inspection.