MELBOURNE (AFP) - Race favourite Fiorente finished strongly to win the Melbourne Cup over 3200 metres (two miles) at the Flemington track on Tuesday ahead of Red Cadeaux and Mount Athos.
"It's every jockey's dream come true. It's a really special moment," said jockey Damien Oliver of clinching the A$6 million (S$7 million) race for Australian trainer Gai Waterhouse, who won the Cup for the first time after finishing second three times previously.
Fiorente was the runner-up in last year's race behind Green Moon but surged home to beat off Red Cadeaux to win Oliver his third Melbourne Cup victory, two months after he returned to racing from serving a ban for betting on a rival horse in a race he was riding in in 2010.
Oliver, who won previous Melbourne Cups on Doriemus and Ireland's Media Puzzle, brought Fiorente from midfield to stake his challenge at the 300m.
"I was a fair way back and before I knew it I was right on top of them," Oliver said.
"When you're in front that last 200 seems to take forever. Nothing is a given in this game."
Fiorente's win followed three previous runner-up finishes in the Melbourne Cup for Waterhouse after the horse's second place finish last year. Te Akau Nick was runner-up in 1993 and Nothin' Leica Dane finished second in 1995.
"Didn't he ride him a treat? Honestly and truly. He got back to about 12th then he just kept trekking up and trekking up," Waterhouse said.
"It's a race that stops the nation. Isn't it nice to have a favourite that can do that?"