A Japanese Quinella
Delta Blues won the Melbourne Cup this afternoon at Flemington by half a head from stable mate Pop Rock in an historic one-two for Japanese-trained horses.
Yasunari Iwata took Delta Blues to the lead nearing the 300-metre mark and then held on to beat Pop Rock, ridden by Damien Oliver by just half a head, right on the line.
Finishing third was Maybe Better three lengths behind the Japanese quinella, with Zipping back in fourth for Glen Boss.
Not many Australian racing fans would have been familiar with the name Yasunari Iwata, is one of Japan's top three jockeys this season after he transferred his licence from the National Association of Racing to the Japan Racing Association.
Iwata was overjoyed after the race and in the little English he spoke he said, “I'm so happy. This is my biggest win ever.”
It was an ambush of the cup by the Japanese horses which we can now expect to see a lot more of in the next few years at the Melbourne Cup as the phenomenon spreads throughout Japan.
Katsuhiko Sumii, 42, trained both horses in the one-two Japanese double and was very emotional after the win.
Some of the great trainers whose horses didn’t do to well in the race paid tribute to the Japanese contingent.
"Good on them, they put so much money into their racing and breeding and I take my hat off to them," Zipping's trainer, Graeme Rogerson, said.
Prior to winning the Melbourne Cup, Sumii’s greatest successes include the Japanese and American Oaks with Cesario, the Japanese Mile Championship and Hong Kong Mile with Hat Trick, as well as the Japan Cup Dirt with Kane Hekili.
John Hawkes, whose three runners Railings, Headturner and Dizelle finished in the second half of the field, agreed.
"It's a great job to do what they've done," Hawkes said.
"All credit to them."
Pre-race favourite Tawqueet could not reproduce his Caulfield Cup form and was never a winning chance, finishing 19th.
1. DELTA BLUES, 56kg, trained by K Sumii, ridden by Y Iwata, $18
2. Pop Rock, 53kg, trained by K Sumii, ridden by D Oliver, $6 jt fav
3. Maybe Better, 50kg, trained by B Mayfield-Smith, ridden by C Munce, $10.
10.00 Zipping 52.5 (G Boss)
201.00 Land 'n Stars 53 (J F Egan)
201.00 Mahtoum 53 (C W Brown)
6.50 Yeats 59 (K Fallon)
21.00 Activation 53 (M Rodd)
21.00 Mandela 51 (Craig Williams)
81.00 Glistening 51 (S Seamer)
51.00 Kerry O'Reilly 52 (C E Lammas)
51.00 Railings 55.5 (D Beadman)
71.00 Headturner 54 (G J Childs)
201.00 Short Pause 53.5 (N Callow)
81.00 Dolphin Jo 50 (A Spiteri)
41.00 Art Success 51.5 (A Pattillo)
26.00 Dizelle 52 carr 52.5 (B Shinn)
16.00 Geordieland 54 (L Dettori)
6.00 jt fav Tawqeet 55.5 (D Dunn)
21.00 On A Jeune 53 (D Gauci)
101.00 Demerger 51 (S Baster)
201.00 Ice Chariot 52 (J Byrne)
201.00 Zabeat 52 (O Doleuze) last.
Margins: half-head, 4˝ lengths.
Time: 3min 21.42sec (last 600m 35.82sec).
Tawqeet still a Strong Favourite (Sun Nov 5)
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