Expertly ridden by jockey Brett Prebble, Green Moon came roaring from behind to win at the 2012 Melbourne Cup on Tuesday.
Coming into Australia's biggest race as a 19/1 underdog, the 5-year-old colt came through with victory in a massive 24-horse field. The victory gave respected owner Lloyd J. Williams his third Melbourne Cup win, which comes with a hefty $7.8 million payout this year.
For most of the race, the Hong Kong-based Prebble kept Green Moon riding back in eighth place, seemingly settling for a back-of-the-pack finish. However, an almost stalling of the pace in the race's middle stages left the field wide open during the final stretch.
That led to a scintillating late charge from Green Moon and some surprisingly poor finishes for favored horses. Ballyhooed favorites like Americain and Dunaden never showed even a modicum of the burst that gave them a top billing, finishing 11th and 14th, respectively.
In fact, Tuesday's race turned out to be a battle of the underdogs. Green Moon's biggest challenge came from Fiorente, who has been in the news lately due to changing trainers. Left as a massive underdog, Fiorente was in fine form but came up a mere length short to finish in second.
Perhaps the biggest surprise of the Melbourne Cup was third-place finisher Jakkalberry, who came in as a massive underdog at 80/1 odds. Before falling behind, it Jakkalberry's great run had to come as a source of happiness for bettors and sheer terror for the bet-takers at the track.
Nonetheless, the 2012 Melbourne Cup was about the more than 100,000 fans in attendance seeing Green Moon's coronation. Tuesday was the horse's third win of the year and second within a one-month span after winning at the Turnbull Stakes on Oct. 6.
With the odds stacked against him, Green Moon shocked the field, left fans captivated and made his owner a whole lot richer. And that my friends, is the beauty of horse racing.
Winning Owner: Lloyd J. Williams (and family)
Winning Trainer: Robert Hickmott
Final Time: 3:20.45
5. Mount Athos
6. Glencadam Gold
8. Red Cadeaux
10. My Quest for Peace
13. Voila Ici
16. Lights of Heaven
20. Galileo's Chice
21. Unusual Suspect
23. Tac de Boistron