Twilight Payment wins Melbourne Cup

Twilight Payment on the way to victory in the Melbourne Cup at Flemington Racecourse. Photo:...
Twilight Payment on the way to victory in the Melbourne Cup at Flemington Racecourse. Photo: Getty Images

Twilight Payment led from start to finish to claim the $A8 million Melbourne Cup on Tuesday, handing jockey Jye McNeil a dream debut and owner Lloyd Williams a seventh triumph in "the race that stops the nation".

The eight-year-old gelding trained by Joseph O'Brien upstaged a high-quality field in the two-mile handicap at Flemington Racecourse, holding off runner-up Tiger Moth and a late charge from third-placed Prince of Arran.

"Too many emotions. It's a very big moment," said McNeil.

"Jess and the boy will hopefully be watching from home," he said of his family.

"They couldn't be here today but I'm sure they will be very proud."

It was Irishman O'Brien's second Melbourne Cup win and the second time he had pipped his famous father Aidan O'Brien to victory in Australia's most famous horse race.

Joseph O'Brien's horse Rekindling beat his father's runner-up Johannes Vermeer in the 2017 race.

Few horses can go the distance in the race when jumping out early but McNeil said it was always the plan.

"I was confident. I was trying not to use the whip too many times," he said.

"I was trying to use my voice to encourage him as much as possible and it was a matter of hanging on and he was very tough."

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