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In eerie silence, the race that stops a nation enters the Twilight zone


Twilight Payment has won the Melbourne Cup, leading home Tiger Moth and Prince Of Arran in Australia’s greatest thoroughbred race – held this year before empty grandstands

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Joseph O’Brien thwarted his famous father’s bid for Melbourne Cup glory once again when Twilight Payment won at Flemington – giving owner Lloyd Williams his seventh Melbourne Cup.

For the second time in a training career still in its infancy, O’Brien claimed a Melbourne Cup that was expected to fall to the all-conquering stable run by his father Aidan.

But it was Twilight Payment that lapped up one of the world’s most celebrated staying contests to lead in an all-international finish and beat his father’s horse Tiger Moth and the English-trained Prince Of Arran.

The younger O’Brien won his first Melbourne Cup in 2017 when Rekindling beat Johannes Vermeer, trained by his father.

Twilight Payment, ridden by young jockey Jye McNeil, also confirmed Williams’ place as the most successful owner in Melbourne Cup history with his seventh victory. Despite the familiarity about the result for Williams, it was a Melbourne Cup like no other.

For the first time in its rich history, the race was run against a backdrop of silence.

As Melbourne’s pandemic restrictions remained in place, Flemington numbers were restricted to trainers, jockeys and key personnel.


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