IT’s been four years since an Australian runner has won the Melbourne Cup but that all changed as the Danny O’Brien-trained Vow And Declare(Craig Williams) fought bravely to win the thrilling 3200m race at Flemington, Tuesday,

But there was drama, with a protest lodged after the race.

An objection on behalf of Il Paradiso against Master Of Reality sparked high-drama soon after the race.

Master Of Reality crossed the line second but was ruled to have interfered with Il Paradiso. As a result, Prince Of Arran was promoted from third to second, Il Paradiso was promoted from fourth to third and Master Of Reality was relegated from second to fourth.

Williams tasted a tweet victory after famously missing the winning ride on the French-trained Dunaden in the 2011 Melbourne Cup because of suspension.

In a desperate finish involving four horses, the Danny O’Brien-trained Vow And Declare took an inside run and put his head down when it counted to win in a photo finish.

Master Of Reality looked set to give jockey Frankie Dettorie his first win, shooting clear at the 200m before just failing to hold off the winner.

“I have to thank everyone around me that has touched my life throughout my career and given me advice,confidence and they’re all a part of this win,” Williams said.

O’Brien said the race didn’t work out for Vow And Declare.

“It wasn’t a race that was going to plan … but he’s a great horse, he’s got great stamina,” O’Brien said.


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