Aussie racing fans have been left in a frenzy after Craig Williams' historic Melbourne Cup win delivered the nation a stunning triumph.
In a field dominated by international runners, Vow And Declare held off the challengers to give Williams his first success in Australia's greatest race.
One of the most inexperienced horses in the Cup, Vow And Declare defeated Irish stayer Master Of Reality with English-trained Prince Of Arran finishing third. A protest after the race saw Master of Reality relegated to fourth place, due to interference, and Il Paradiso promoted to third place.
Vow and Declare, trained by Melbourne’s Danny O’Brien, was one of only three horse in the Melbourne Cup this year to have done all its racing in Australia.
“He is owned by an Australian, trained by an Australian and ridden by an Australian," O'Brien has boasted in the lea-up to the race..
"Every part of him is Australian.
Williams had taken all before him in Australian racing, but the Melbourne Cup had eluded him. He was due to ride Dunaden, who won the 2011 Cup, but instead was sidelined due to suspension while the French raider won Australia's great race.
The extraordinary performance - a major win for Australian racing - sent fans into meltdown on social media.
Great result for Australian racing. Well done Vow and Declare! Don't think there's a jockey who deserves this more than Craig Williams. #MelbourneCup— James Foster (@jfoster88) November 5, 2019
The Australian fairy tale still exists in Australia's great race! #MelbourneCup— MasterSharky (@MasterSharky) November 5, 2019
Vow And Declare wins the #MelbourneCup for Australia!— Geoffrey Riddle (@Louchepunter) November 5, 2019
VOW AND DECLARE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!— Todd Davey (@ToddJDavey) November 5, 2019
IT'S COMING HOME!!!! #MelbourneCup
Australia retains the Melbourne Cup. Well done Vow and Declare!! #MelbourneCup— Charlie B. (@CharlieBBucket) November 5, 2019
Williams had taken all before him in Australian racing, but the Melbourne Cup had eluded him before Tuesday.
He was due to ride Dunaden, who won the 2011 Cup, but instead was sidelined due to suspension while the French raider won Australia's great race.
"It was a privilege to ride him (Vow And Declare) today," Williams said.
"We had a difficult barrier draw. The instructions, we trusted him. We know what we can do. Great to be associated with a great horse like this horse.
"I'm so grateful to be given the opportunity … I will really enjoy this."
Trainer Danny O'Brien was full of emotion after the win, lost for words when trying to describe the magnitude of the achievement.
"I really can't believe it," he said.
"[I] feel incredibly blessed to have a horse good enough to be in it and then for him to be ridden so beautifully by Craig.
"The last hundred he wouldn't give in and put his head out on the line and now we have won the Melbourne Cup."