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November 4, 2009

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Shocking sees off rivals in Melbourne

SHOCKING survived a torrid run to beat off two powerful international rivals and win yesterday's A$5.5 million (US$5 million) Melbourne Cup.

The four-year-old Shocking (9-1) put in an incredible staying performance, running three wide into a stiff breeze for most of the gruelling 3200 meter handicap to win Australia's richest and most famous horse race.

Crime Scene (40-1), trained by the powerful Godolphin stable, finished second after looking like the winner at the final furlong, while Mourilyan (20-1), trained by South African Herman Brown and owned by Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov, was third.

Only three horses trained outside of Australia or New Zealand have won the Melbourne Cup, first held in 1861 and being run for the 149th time, and only a brave performance by Shocking prevented another overseas winner.

There were six foreign runners in the final 24-horse field but Changingoftheguard was scratched on veterinary advice and Munsef and Basaltico failed to make any impression.

Crime Scene burst to the front in the final straight but Shocking, who emerged as one of the main race contenders when he won a major leadup race last weekend, charged home over the last 200 meters to win after a thrilling two-horse sprint to the post. "I was worried the whole race," said Shocking's jockey Corey Brown. "I just wanted to get well into the straight before I exposed him again. It was a tough effort, travelling three wide in a Melbourne Cup and still win."


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