Gripping Melbourne Cup 2011 Results in Photo-Finish: Dunaden Triumphs

Gripping Melbourne Cup 2011 Results in Photo-Finish: Dunaden Triumphs

The Emirates Melbourne Cup 2011 at the Flemington Race Course was one of the most gripping and entertaining horse races for some time and resulted in suspense after a sprint to the line led to a photo-finish. It took several minutes to decide the eventual winner but it was jockey Christophe Lemaire’s horse Dunaden that triumphed to retain the French hold on the $6.2 million Melbourne Cup, just beating Red Cadeaux ridden by Michael Rodd.

This Melbourne Cup will be remembered for a long time as it had probably the closest finish of its 151-year history. A nose-to-nose sprint led to some nailbiting moments among the 100,000-strong crowd to decide the first two places and as Lemaire and Rodd stood waiting for the judgement they embraced and wished each other good luck according to Ian Ransom of Reuters. When the winner was declared Lemaire gestured in disbelief before raising his arm in the air while Rodd bowed his head in regret.

As for the rest of the field it was a further length and a quarter until Lucas Cranach made it to third and then Americain, the favorite, took fourth. In fifth was Manighar, sixth Lost in the Moment, Fox Hunt seventh and Niwot eighth. There were a total of 23 runners in the field. Winner Dunaden is trained by Frenchman Mikel Delzangles and owned by Sheikh Fahad al Thani, a relative newcomer to the sport.

Dunaden’s regular rider, Craig Williams, had lost his appeal against a recent ban after being suspended due to careless riding and so Lemaire was only asked to be on stand-by for the ride six days before the race. Williams will no doubt be distraught leading Lemaire to say, “I’m very sorry for him. He’s a good friend of mine. He must be devastated. Two years ago in France, I had a fall before the Arc weekend, and I missed eight winners, including four Group Ones, so I know disappointment,” according to J.A. McGrath on The Telegraph.

Trainer Delzangles said, “The way races are run in France is similar to Australia. You need to quicken up in the last furlong. Thanks to Americain last year, we (the French) knew it was possible.” Sheikh Fahad al Thani meanwhile set out his stall by saying, “Melbourne Cup this year and Ascot Gold Cup next year.” What are your thoughts on the thrilling finish to the Melbourne Gold Cup 2011? Let us know with your comments.

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