3 Nov 2020

Twilight Payment and rider Jye McNeil win Melbourne Cup

5:49 pm on 3 November 2020

Irish horse Twilight Payment and rider Jye McNeil have won this year's Melbourne Cup, the sporting event known as the "race which stops a nation".

Melbourne Cup 2020 winner Twilight Payment ridden by Jye McNeil at Flemington Racecourse.

Melbourne Cup winner Twilight Payment ridden by Jye McNeil. Photo: Racing Photos / Pat Scala / via AFP

This year's edition has been dominated by northern hemisphere horses. Second was Tiger Moth, also Irish, and third was Prince of Arran, a British horse.

Another horse, called Anthony Van Dyck, was euthanised after the race having sustained a fetlock fracture.

Bookmakers had labelled this year's Cup field as one of the most open in years. The 3200m race was run in front of stands empty of punters and fans due to Victoria's Covid-19 restrictions.

The Melbourne Cup is held every year at Flemington Racecourse on the first Tuesday of November, and is one of the world's most significant horse races.

Melbourne celebrates

Despite the lack of crowds in the stands, due to the pandemic, today's Melbourne Cup at Flemington is still a highlight for the horse racing calendar.

Fans were still making the most of the day, ABC Melbourne reporter Elias Clure said.

"It's a beautiful day outside, almost 30C, and the bars are packed; bars can utilise their outdoor areas - you can have a maximum of 10 people a room inside, but there's no real restrictions on how many people you can have outside.

"I was just walking down a street in a southern part of the CBD and the outside part of the bars were absolutely heaving, with people already getting stuck into the alcohol here and making the most of the public holiday."

Melbourne has just emerged from one of the world's longest lockdowns, of 110 days, and there's a feeling people are celebrating the new freedom, Clure said.

Melbourne Cup.

This year's Melbourne Cup was held without the usual throngs of crowds. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Who were the favourites?

The domination of the race in recent years by European- trained horses made Euro horses the top picks to win this year, Bookie Thad Taylor told RNZ this morning.

Irish horse Tiger Moth, a favourite for today's Melbourne Cup at training yesterday.

Tiger Moth, a favourite for today's Melbourne Cup at training yesterday. Photo: AFP

His top list included Irish-trained Tiger Moth and stable-mate Anthony Van Dyck, along with Prince of Arran, Master of Reality and Twilight Payment.

Two New Zealand horses were to line up for the race; The Chosen One, which is New Zealand trained, and Verry Elleegant, a New Zealand-bred entry.

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