4 Nov 2008

Record Melbourne Cup victory for Cummings

7:06 pm on 4 November 2008

Australia's Viewed held off a fast-finishing Bauer to give veteran trainer Bart Cummings a record 12th Melbourne Cup victory at Flemington racecourse on Tuesday.

Viewed, ridden by Blake Shinn, won by a nose in a photo finish ahead of Bauer, with C'est La Guerre third.

It was Cummings' first victory in "the race that stops a nation" since 1999 when Rogan Josh won and his 250th Group One career triumph.

Cummings, who turns 81 next week, first won the Melbourne Cup with Light Fingers in 1965. The next highest total is six wins.

Irish raider Septimus, whose trainer Aidan O'Brien decided to run after inspecting the track to see if it had softened, led down the home straight for the first pass before stablemate Alessandro Volta took the lead before a 100,000-strong crowd.

The four-year-old colt led down the entire back straight before O'Brien's third horse, Honolulu, Septimus and Boundless hit the front with 800 metres to run, four lengths clear.

The field, however, narrowed the gap around the final turn and Viewed surged into a three-length lead before Corey Brown steered Bauer to an outside line and hauled in the five-year-old with every stride before just missing out on victory.

A field of 22 horses raced in the $A5.5 million Melbourne Cup, including three New Zealand contenders.

A spokesperson for the New Zealand Racing Board, Tim Aldridge, says punters in New Zealand spent about $7.6 million on the big race.