History made as Verry Elleegant claims $8 million Melbourne Cup

·Sports Reporter
·3-min read
Verry Elleegant (pictured right) stormed home to win the 2021 Melbourne Cup.
Verry Elleegant has won the 2021 Melbourne Cup. (Image: Channel 10)

Incentivise may have been the shortest-priced favourite since Phar Lap, but Verry Elleegant stormed home to claim the 2021 Melbourne Cup.

Verry Elleegant became the second heaviest horse ever to win the Melbourne Cup, after Makybe Diva, in a blistering finish to steal the win from Incentivise and Spanish Mission.

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Jockey James McDonald cemented his spot as the biggest rising star in the sport after guiding the calm horse to a historic win by 3.5 lengths.

"I was blowing her kisses the whole way," McDonald said after the race.

Spanish Mission ran his heart out for England, looming ominously before taking the minor placing.

Floating Artist was the best of the Ciaron Maher-David Eustace runners in finishing fourth with the New Zealand-trained The Chosen One finishing fifth.

Verry Elleegant upsets bookies favourite Incentivise

Incentivise, one of the shortest-priced favourites in Cup history, looked the winner at the top of the straight but he was no match for Verry Elleegant's late surge under jockey McDonald.

Legendary trainer Chris Waller now has in his possession one of Australian sport's most prized trophies to go alongside Winx's four Cox Plates.

He has rewritten all the record books on his way to the top but a Melbourne Cup triumph ranks as the sweetest moment since confirming his arrival among the best in the business.

Waller has won the past 11 Sydney trainers' premierships, trained a horse of a lifetime in Winx and is setting standards that only he is likely to match.

It was also a first Cup triumph for McDonald, who said Verry Elleegant gave him the best ride possible.

"When I went for home, I don't know, I don't know what I was thinking. I was thinking, where's that post?" McDonald said.

"She travelled so sweetly in the run for such a big way.

"She is trained by a master. He gets them right. She is a superstar and I'm so proud of her."

Incentivise ran a mighty race as he carried a weight of expectation that he could build on a winning streak on racing's biggest stage.

James McDonald (pictured) celebrates after riding #4 Verry Elleegant to Melbourne Cup victory.
James McDonald (pictured) riding #4 Verry Elleegant celebrates winning race 7, the Lexus Melbourne Cup during 2021 Melbourne Cup Day at Flemington Racecourse on November 02, 2021 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Darrian Traynor/Getty Images)

But he had no answer as Verry Elleegant, the reigning Australian horse of year, strolled to a four-length win in one of the more emphatic Cup victories.

Verry Elleegant's stablemate Ocean Billy was last of the 23 runners.

The Melbourne Cup was run in front of 10,000 fully-vaccinated racegoers after Victoria's coronavirus restrictions were lifted in time for reduced crowds during the spring carnival.

with AAP

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