Green Moon Rising .... the winner of the 2012 Melbourne Cup. Photo: Jason South
Owner Lloyd Williams has won his fourth Melbourne Cup and jet-setting jockey Brett Prebble his first after the Hong Kong-based rider gave Green Moon "the ride of my life" to score in the $6.2 million race.
Green Moon, who started at $20, had a clear margin on the line over Gai Waterhouse's import Fiorente ($31) with third place being filly by another imported horse Jakkalberry ($81), who is trained by the Italian Marco Botti.
Prebble said moments after pulling up on the import that Williams bought from England specifically for the Melbourne Cup, that it had been "my life dream to do it" and paid tribute to Williams for engaging him for the mount after Green Moon had run so poorly just 10 days ago in the Cox Plate.
Green Moon races to victory in Melbourne Cup
Australian-trained Green Moon defeats a crack field of international horses to win the 2012 Melbourne Cup. Photo: Eddie Jim
"He was never going to get beat," Prebble said.
"He got a severe check about 250 metres after the start but eventually got into a rhythm and then I put it to him on straightening."
The winner was trained by former AFL footballer Robert Hickmott, who played a number of games for Melbourne and has been the head trainer at Williams' Mt Macedon training property for the past four years.
First past the post ... Brett Prebble riding Green Moon celebrates winning the 2012 Melbourne Cup. Photo: Quinn Rooney
Williams has won previously with Just A Dash (1981), What A Nuisance (1985) and in 2007 with Efficient.
The topweight and heavily-backed favourite Dunaden found early trouble in the race and never looked likely to go close.
His jockey Craig Williams said Dunaden "nearly fell at the start" and added "he had too much weight and he’s now a weight-for-age horse that is better left at 2400 metres."
The horse to finish last was one of the only two Australian-breds in the race Ethiopia, who walked over the line hundreds of metres behind the second last horse.
His trainer Pat Carey had been wary about running the young horse in such a tough race and his rider Rhys McLeod said the horse pulled up sore with an abrasion to the near-side hip.
"I hope he's OK," he said.
Ethiopia's official finishing distance was more than 63 lengths behind Green Moon.
Under-fire jockey Damien Oliver, who got the ride on Americain for Tuesday's race after being dumped as the jockey for My Quest For Peace following allegations he bet on another runner in a race he was riding in at Moonee Valley two years ago, had also been booked to ride Green Moon in the Cox Plate this year.
Damien also lost his ride on Green Moon and the six-year-old finished seventh in the weight-for-age race at Moonee Valley last month with Craig Williams aboard.
With Scott Spits