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Dublin: 0°C Friday 27 November 2020
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Joseph O’Brien pips dad Aidan to win second Melbourne Cup with Twilight Payment

Race marred by a fatal injury to last year’s Derby winner Anthony Van Dyck.

Twilight Payment won the Melbourne Cup for Joseph O'Brien.
Twilight Payment won the Melbourne Cup for Joseph O'Brien.
Image: PA

JOSEPH O’BRIEN SENT out his second winner of the Melbourne Cup as Twilight Payment triumphed in the Group One contest at Flemington overnight.

O’Brien claimed the two-mile event with Rekindling in 2017 and he again was on the mark as Jye McNeil’s mount fended off Tiger Moth, trained by O’Brien’s father Aidan, to take the prize.

Charlie Fellowes’ British raider Prince Of Arran, placed in the last two Melbourne Cups, again finished with a flourish to take third.

However, the race was marred by a fatal injury to last year’s Derby winner Anthony Van Dyck, who was euthanised after fracturing a fetlock.

McNeil had his mount prominent throughout with Tiger Moth also to the fore in the early stages before settling back into third.

With five furlongs to run, the 23-strong field was well strung out and Twilight Payment was winding it up in front and Twilight Payment had lengths to spare entering the closing stages.

However, Tiger Moth charged home late, but Joseph O’Brien again denied his father, as he did three years ago when Rekindling beat Johannes Vermeer.

“We both realise how hard it is to win on the world stage in these big, big races, but I am very lucky that I have been able to win a couple of big races,” O’Brien said when asked how it felt to beat his father again.

Dad has been very lucky, he has won a lot of big races, I’d be delighted for him if he had won, and I’m sure he is for me having won. We do our best on the track and whatever happens out there happens.

Twilight Payment was previously trained by Jim Bolger, until he was bought by Lloyd Williams, who also owned Rekindling.

O’Brien said: “It’s a privilege to train for the people that I train for and the horses that we have.

“We really appreciate the support and the success when it comes, but it’s a tough game as everybody knows and it’s a fine line from the top and the bottom. I’m just very appreciative.

“The proof that he got the fractions spot on is watching the race when you see Tiger Moth finish, but the horse is incredible and I’m just thankful of the support and the work everyone has done with the horse, at home as well.”

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There was a shadow cast over the day by the death of Anthony Van Dyck who was carrying top weight in the race before he was pulled up by Hugh Bowman and later euthanised following the discovery of a fractured fetlock.

Aidan O’Brien’s four-year-old famously prevailed in a tight finish to the Epsom Classic last term and struck gold in the Prix Foy at ParisLongchamp in September, beating three-times Gold Cup hero Stradivarius.

He won six of his 19 starts, amassing over €2.5 million (£2.3m) in prize money, with the son of Galileo also counting the Tyros Stakes, the Futurity and Lingfield Derby Trial amongst his victories.

Racing Victoria’s executive general manager – integrity services, Jamie Stier said: “It is with sadness that we confirm that Anthony Van Dyck had to be humanely euthanised after sustaining a fractured fetlock during the running of the Melbourne Cup at Flemington.

The horse received immediate veterinary care, however he was unable to be saved due to the nature of the injury sustained.“Our sympathies are extended to the owners of Anthony Van Dyck, trainer Aidan O’Brien and all his staff who cared for the horse and are greatly saddened by their loss.

The Victoria Racing Club tweeted: “The Victoria Racing Club extends its condolences to the owners, trainer Aidan O’Brien and his team who cared for Anthony Van Dyck and are saddened by their loss. We would like to thank the track and veterinary staff for their prompt and humane care of the horse.

“The Club remains totally committed to the welfare of all equine athletes and the ongoing focus on their wellbeing and will continue to work with the industry to understand the cause of this incident.”

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