An American-bred, Australian-owned horse trained by a Frenchman and ridden by a Hong Kong-based jockey cemented the 150th Melbourne Cup as a truly global event.
Americain reigned supreme over one of the best Cup fields ever assembled, with emerging star Maluckyday chasing him home for second, relegating race and crowd favourite So You Think to third and denying Bart Cummings a 13th trophy.
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Melbourne businessmen Gerry Ryan and Kevin Bamford paid $US225,000 ($A228,000) for Americain and plotted an unusual course for the Cup, sending him to Alain De Royer-Dupre at Chantilly, on the outskirts of Paris.
So You Think dominated betting and was sent out at $3 – the shortest priced favourite in 39 years.
Maluckyday was well tried at $9 with Americain at $13, despite his win in last month’s Geelong Cup, which has emerged as one of the strongest pointers to the Cup.
Gerald Mosse, Americain’s French rider who spends much of his time in Hong Kong, did his homework well and kept So You Think in his sights from the outset.
Mosse said he knew he had a horse that could run out a strong 3200 metres but he was wary of the favourite and kept his eye on him as the field settled behind tearaway leader Once Were Wild.
"Americain broke well and I made sure he was covered and I had the opportunity to relax him," Mosse said.
"So You Think, I wanted to keep him not too far away and I didn’t want to give him too much.
"I saw So You Think start to go and I followed him. At the 250 I am going to catch him.
"I definitely enjoyed that moment. It’s something very special."
As So You Think hit the lead when the field straightened, the crowd roared but it seemed he may have gone a little too soon.
Americain raced up full of running and strode away with Maluckyday fighting it out for second with So You Think.
The winner had 2-3/4 lengths to spare on Maluckyday, which nudged So You Think out of second by half a length.
"He might have gone a bit early," Cummings said.
"But he ran a good third and the winner was too good.
"The best horse won on the day and he (So You Think) gave it a good try."
De Royer Dupre said he was only too happy to take on Americain, who had raced in France before going to the United States where he was less than impressive.
"He did nothing in America but after two months back in France I knew we had a good horse.
"I had not thought about bringing a horse to the Melbourne Cup before because it is a long way to come and the quarantine is very heavy.
"But I knew all about the race."
Ryan and Bamford have bought several horses together with the dream of having a Melbourne Cup runner.
"We always wanted a runner, we never really dreamed we would have a winner," Ryan said.
"He will go back to France and come back here again next year."
De Royer Dupre said the Hong Kong Vase at the International meeting in December would be the next aim for Americain.
There were some casualties in the Cup with last year’s winner Shocking (18th) pulling up lame in his off fore leg, while Caulfield Cup winner Descarado failed to finish after being galloped on. His injuries were not serious.
Several other riders reported their horses did not handle the slow ground.
Cummings’ other runner Precedence finished eighth with replacement rider James Winks aboard after Blake Shinn suffered a broken ankle in a fall earlier in the day.
More: Australian Times analysis of the field.