Chris Waller’s best chance yet to win the biggest race on the Australian calendar didn’t materialise in 2019, but the champion trainer has vowed to keep trying.
Waller put the polish on Finche, $8.50 favourite for this year’s race, but was forced to settle for seventh, beaten 1.4 lengths by the Danny O’Brien-trained Vow And Declare.
“He had every chance,” Waller said. “It was a great international race, and Australian horse won it, but we’ll win one one year.”
Kerrin McEvoy, who was chasing his third Melbourne Cup success in the past four years aboard the son of Frankel, jumped well and was positioned back along the inside for the first half of the race before edging one horse away from the fence.
He was presented at the top of the straight and loomed as a threat but lacked the turn of foot of several of his rivals.
Vow And Declare’s winning time was 3:24.76, which was more than eight seconds outside Kingston Rule’s 3:16.3 track record.
“The pace wasn’t that strong and I would have liked them to go a little bit quicker,” McEvoy said.
“But he presented at the top of the lane and I thought he was a real chance there at the 300, but he just levelled out the last little bit. It was a great run.” – Racing.com