The 2013 Melbourne Cup took place on Tuesday, where slew of top-flight horses ran for the prize at Flemington Racecourse in a grueling two-mile turf test.
Justin Cinque of The Roar points out that it is the richest handicap race in the world with a $6 million purse, which provides an idea of just how high the stakes are.
Although the race is far lengthier than the U.S. Kentucky Derby, there is a strong sense of lavish fashion and festivities that go on at this pristine Victorian venue, along with several prominent races leading up to the main event.
Australia refers to the Melbourne Cup as "the race that stops a nation," and the Grade 1 showcase lived up to its promise and was as thrilling as ever.
Read on for insight into the key some of key contenders who enetered the annual race, along with a recap of what transpired, the final results and the winner.
Dunaden and Green Moon won the Melbourne Cup in 2011 and 2012 respectively, and will look to add to their accolades with a win on Tuesday.
Neither are among the favorites, though. According to The Guardian, neither had better than 30-to-1 odds of taking home the trophy a second time. There are a lot of viable horses in the field, so perhaps that justifies their relative long shot status despite the past success.
Renowned trainer Gai Waterhouse has the horse that many consider the favorite in Fiorente, who finished second in last year's Melbourne Cup and was listed at 7-to-1 by The Guardian.
Former English footballer Michael Owen's horse, Brown Panther, won two starts ago at the Group II Goodwood Cup, which was also a two-mile jaunt. Owen would welcome being the first English winner of the race, per BBC Sport:
I've been in horse racing for around 15 years and to have a horse good enough to compete is fantastic - it's what you're in the sport for. It's a famous race around the world. The Australians have come over and won our sprints but maybe we've got the edge in the staying division and we'd love to be the first English winner.
Brown Panther's previously demonstrated longevity may give a prominent former striker the winning horse as a darkhorse contender.
That is just the tip of the iceberg with regard to this world-class field, as a winner could emerge from anywhere.
The odds-on favorite in Fiorente won the 2013 Melbourne Cup, giving trainer Gai Waterhouse her first victory in the renowned race.
It certainly helped to have a seasoned jockey such as Damien Oliver in the saddle, as he won the third Melbourne Cup of his career on Tuesday in a thrilling finish.
Fiorente was attempting to pull away coming down the final straightaway amid a crowd of contenders, with Red Cadeaux threatening to cross the finish first and looking quite capable of doing so until the final 50 meters.
That is when Oliver gave Fiorente a bit of an extra push, and it allowed Fiorente to live up to his billing and reach the winners' circle.
After the race, Oliver described how he felt, per The Guardian's Scott Heinrich:
It was amazing. A bit like having a Christmas present but not being able to open it. I was really excited to be riding this horse. He moved into the race beautifully on the turn and he was just too good for them.
Red Cadeux settled for second place and had a strong run as a long shot, while Mount Athos finished third to round out those who finished in the money.
One sad note was reported by the Racing Post Twitter feed:
Racing Victoria stewards have reported Brown Panther suffered severe lacerations to his near fore.— Racing Post (@RacingPost) November 5, 2013
Fortunately, it's believed that Brown Panther will be just fine:
Michael Owen reports Brown Panther's scan has come back "clear" with his horse having only a superficial cut.— Racing Post (@RacingPost) November 5, 2013
2013 Melbourne Cup Results
|2||Red Cadeaux (GB)||3|
|3||Mount Athos (IRE)||15|
|8||Brown Panther (GB)||5|
|10||Voleuse De Coeurs (IRE)||17|
|Did Not Finish||Verema||21|
*Source: ABC Grandstand on Twitter.
*Source: TABtouch on Twitter.