Melbourne Cup Surprise
Inaugurated in 1861, the Melbourne Cup is a prestigious horse racing meeting that has become the major event in Australia’s racing calendar. Run over a distance of 3 200 meters, the Melbourne Cup is held annually at the Flemington Racecourse and is hosted by the Victory Racing Club. The best equine athletes, three years old and over, from across the country, meet in Melbourne to participate in this event. This year the Melbourne Cup was held on 3 November 2009, and the crowd was in for a surprise.
Going into the 2009 Melbourne Cup, defending champion, Viewed and Alcopop stood out as the race favorites, but as horse racing is a sport that cannot be predicted, these two racing greats did not have a good race. Viewed had to settle for seventh place, while Alcopop stayed ahead of last year’s winner, to finish in sixth position. Spectators were shocked by the outcome, especially when Shocking, sent off at 9-1 odds, pulled a spectacular finish out of the bag, to win the Melbourne Cup.
Corey Brown was chosen to ride Shocking on race day, with trainer Mark Kavanagh merely hoping for a good race. The reality of winning the Melbourne Cup had not sunk in yet, as an elated but surprised Kavanagh expressed his joy to the media. Owner Lawrence Eales also could not wipe the smile from his face in regard to the victory and the $3.3 million check that was handed to him. There were a few tense moments during the race, when it seemed that the race was hanging in the balance for Shocking. The determined and talented four-year old decided to give it his all in the final furlong, and it was enough to move past the front runners and secure the win. Crime Scene finished in second place, followed by Mourilyan and Master O’Reilly. Brown, who came in second in last years’ Melbourne Cup, told reporters that he could not describe the feeling of winning this event, adding: “Last year was very disappointing, and now I've finally won the Melbourne Cup." Even though Shocking’s victory caused a major upset, it was what horse racing is all about, the victories, the disappointments and the rising of an unexpected star.