Gallops - News

O'Brien junior upstages famous father in Melbourne Cup

  • Tue, 07 Nov 2017
  • AAP Turf
A sixth Melbourne Cup for Lloyd Williams - and a quinella to boot - as Rekindling scores for Corey Bown and young Irish trainer Joseph O'Brien from Johannes Vermeer, trained by O'Brien's father Aidan.

A sixth Melbourne Cup for Lloyd Williams - and a quinella to boot - as Rekindling scores for Corey Bown and young Irish trainer Joseph O'Brien from Johannes Vermeer, trained by O'Brien's father Aidan.

Joseph O'Brien has beaten his famous father to Melbourne Cup glory, saddling up Rekindling to win Australia's greatest race.

In a father-and-son finish the younger O'Brien's Rekindling overhauled Johannes Vermeer, trained by his dad Aidan O'Brien, in the closing stages. The Willie Mullins-trained Max Dynamite, runner-up in 2015, completed an Irish trifecta in taking third place.

Ridden by Sydney jockey Corey Brown, Rekindling saluted as a $15 chance to give leading Victorian owner Lloyd Williams a sixth win in the race.

"I chased the ride about six weeks ago and with a light weight I was a big chance to get on him," Brown said. "It is so special, I have my family with me and the girls are old enough to come to the races and enjoy it. I am lost for words."

Brown, who rode in Hong Kong earlier in his career, won the 2009 Melbourne Cup on Shocking and has worked to re-establish himself in Australia after an extended stay in Singapore.

Coming from midfield as Johannes Vermeer ($13), also jointly owned by Williams, was being hailed the winner, Rekindling rallied when it mattered to edge clear and score by a long neck. Max Dynamite ($20) ran bravely to finish in the placings again, two and a half lengths further back.

The Irish trio were part of an 11-horse European-trained contingent taking their place in the Melbourne Cup field. The Darren Weir-trained Big Duke was the first Australian-based horse across the line, finishing fourth, while that horse's New Zealand-bred and part-owned stablemate Humidor could do no better than nineteenth.

O'Brien, 24, immediately made a telephone call to his father Aidan, who wasn't at Flemington because of Breeders' Cup commitments in California.

"I rang him, he is delighted. Unbelievable," the former champion jockey said. "I'm just so thankful to Lloyd and to Nick (Williams).

"They suggested to bring him down and that he'd have a good chance in the race and his prep went really good, and Corey gave him an unbelievable ride.

"And I'm just so delighted for everyone and all the lads at home and the lads that are down here with him have done an unbelievable job."

Williams, who is also part-owner of Johannes Vermeer, has now had an association with six Melbourne Cup runners.

"I'm so proud of this young man - he's a star," Williams said of the rookie trainer. "I've been telling people the father needs to watch out!"

English stayer Marmelo and last year's winner Almandin started equal favourites at $7. Marmelo was right in the picture on the home turn before weakening to ninth, while Almandin was trapped wide before battling into twelfth.

Internationals took nine of the first 11 placings, with Nakeeta, the first ever Scottish-trained runner, finishing fifth. Gallante, also sporting the Williams colours, was the last horse across the line.