History was made in the early hours of this morning at Flemington Park, Australia when Joseph O’Brien became the youngest-ever trainer to win the Emirates Melbourne Cup as Rekindling led home an Irish 1-2-3 under Corey Brown. Rekindling is the third Irish-trained winner of the world’s richest handicap, bridging a 15-year gap, when the Dermot Weld-trained pair Media Puzzle claimed victory in 2002, and Vintage Crop in 1993.
Six Irish-trained horses went to post and dominated the first three places as Johannes Vermeer came in second for Aidan O’Brien, with Max Dynamite, narrowly defeated in the race in 2015, back in third for Willie Mullins.
The Willie Mullins-trained Thomas Hobson ran on into sixth place in the colours of Mrs Susannah Ricci.
Horse Racing Ireland Chief Executive, Brian Kavanagh, commented:
“Irish-trained horses have enjoyed some extraordinary days in foreign fields but few achievements match what happened at Flemington Park, Melbourne this morning.
“I want to congratulate Joseph O’Brien on his incredible feat in winning the Melbourne Cup with Rekindling. In what is his first full season as a trainer, he has achieved victory in a race coveted by most trainers for all of their careers.
“It was especially remarkable to watch Rekindling win and see him followed home by two other Irish horses, Johannes Vermeer and Max Dynamite, trained by two masters of their art, Aidan O’Brien and Willie Mullins.
“To tune into the most famous Flat race in the world this morning and see a horse trained in Kilkenny beat one trained in Tipperary and another in Carlow, was a proud moment for everybody in Irish racing and we thank those who made it possible – their trainers, the grooms who spent weeks away from home with the horses, and their very sporting owners for their investment.”