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Formerly German-trained Almandin wins Melbourne Cup

Almandin, who left Germany two years ago, has won one of the world's richest horse races. In a thrilling finish, the 7-year-old beat Heartbreak City by a nose.

Formerly German-trained Almandin ridden by Kerrin McEvoy, won the Melbourne Cup on Tuesday in a thrilling finish, beating second-placed Heartbreak City by a nose.

The 7-year-old gelding, trained by Australian Robert Hickmott, made his move at the final turn to overtake Heartbreak City in the grueling two-mile handicap.

The favorite, 6-year-old Hartnell led the field into the straight but could not hold on as he was passed by Heartbreak City and then Almandin.

"Jeez, he traveled well," McEvoy said from the saddle. "How lucky am I, mate? The elation is just unreal."

Australien Melbourne Cup (picture alliance/dpa/J. Castro)

The Melbourne Cup is one of the richest races run on turf

"Just a dream, mate, to win my second Cup. It's just a dream come true. I love these staying races, I love the Melbourne Cup."

McEvoy admitted, "I'm looking forward to a beer after the last race."

Hartnell, trained in Australia by John O'Shea, was a distant third in the 3,200-meter handicap. He had been seeking to give Sheikh Mohammed's Godolphin team their first win in the race.

Ahead of the race, Almandin's owner, Victoria businessman Lloyd Williams, had pointed to the horse out of his four runners.

"I think Almandin ... in an old-fashioned sense he's probably beaten the handicapper. I would probably give him 54.5 or 55 kilograms if you were handicapping him today," he suggested. Almandin gave Williams his fifth Melbourne Cup.

In his last run in Europe, in June of 2014, Almandin beat subsequent Melbourne Cup winner Protectionist. After leaving Germany, he was given a long lay from the track when he arrived in Australia.

Heartbreak City, ridden by Joao ­Moreira, is owned by a group of expatriate Irishmen who moved to New York. The horse is trained by Tony Martin, the astute Irishman renowned for successful big betting coups. He had already won the Ebor Handicap in the UK.

It was the 156th running of the A$6.2 million ($4.71 million) Melbourne Cup at Flemington racecourse in Australia.

The Melbourne Cup is the richest two-mile handicap in the world and one of the richest races run on turf. The race attracts a crowd of up to 100,000 and effectively brings the country to a halt as people turn to their radios and televisions to watch.

German-owned horse Protectionist won the race in 2014. 

jm/sms (Reuters, AP)

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