'Love her to bits': Melbourne Cup history moves jockey to tears

·3-min read
Pictured here, Verry Elleegant's jockey James McDonald is blown away after winning the Melbourne Cup.
Verry Elleegant's win delivered jockey James McDonald and trainer Chris Waller a first Melbourne Cup triumph. Pic: AAP

Jockey James McDonald choked back tears after sealing a stunning piece of history by winning the 161st Melbourne Cup on Verry Elleegant.

The New Zealand-bred and Aussie-trained mare streaked clear to beat red-hot favourite Incentivise and Spanish Mission in the $8 million race that stops a nation at Flemington on Tuesday.

DRAMA: Protesters apprehended by police in wild Melbourne Cup scenes

'VERY SAD': Melbourne Cup rocked by devastating late drama

'NO EXCUSE': Top jockey out of Melbourne Cup amid scandal

Verry Elleegant's stunning victory gave McDonald his first ever win in the Melbourne Cup, as well as Chris Waller - trainer of the legendary, Winx.

Famous for engineering the record-breaking exploits of Winx, Waller claimed his first Melbourne Cup win by beating the shortest-priced favourite since Phar Lap.

Incentivise looked the winner at the top of the straight but he was no match for Verry Elleegant's late surge under McDonald, who fought back tears in an emotional interview after the race.

“It’s what dreams are made of, I can’t honestly believe it,” a teary McDonald said.

“I have so much faith in her, I love her bits. 

"She’s trained by a master and she’s a superstar and I’m so proud of her.”

Verry Elleegant became the second heaviest horse to win the Melbourne Cup after Maybe Diva, having carried 57kg into Tuesday's race at Flemington.

Verry Elleegant delivers first Cup for jockey and trainer

The win was all the more sweet for McDonald after the jockey finished second on Fiorente in 2012 and third on Hartnell in 2016.

"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.

Pictured here, James McDonald celebrates winning the Melbourne Cup on Verry Elleegant.
Verry Elleegant jockey James McDonald throws his arms up in triumph after winning the Melbourne Cup for the first time. Pic: Getty

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.

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.

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

Click here to sign up to our newsletter for all the latest and breaking stories from Australia and around the world.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting