Melbourne Cup: Jockey Frankie Dettori cops nine-race ban

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It was a case of what might have been for Ireland as Australian horse "Vow and Declare" won the Melbourne Cup at Flemington this morning.

The stewards protest was upheld despite a freakish twist at the hearing held after Vow And Declare's famous win.

He looked set to end the 26-year losing stretch but was just headed by victor Vow And Declare in a tight finish.

But a protest lodged by fourth placed finisher Il Paradiso, after Master of Reality looked to have bumped out the fourth place finisher, was upheld by racing stewards.

"I broke the rules that we have in place", he said.

The race took place against a backdrop of welfare concerns after six equine fatalities since 2013 and separate horse cruelty claims in Australia.

Jockey Frankie Dettori, whose Melbourne Cup mount Master of Reality was demoted from second to fourth after a protest, has since copped a nine-race ban.

Things got worse for Dettori when a stewards' protest was lodged on behalf of the connections of fourth placegetter, Il Paradisio ridden by Wayne Lordan, against Dettori resulting in Master Of Reality being relegated to fourth.

Prince Of Arran's jockey, Michael Walker, said: "Charlie and the team have done an wonderful job with this horse".

Master Of Reality was first to strike for home at the top of the straight and Dettori stole a couple of lengths advantage, but with a furlong and a half to go, Vow And Declare just edged in front.

"It's an amazingly special thing to happen, I really can't believe it", O'Brien told Channel 10.

One of the most inexperienced horses in the Cup, Vow And Declare defeated Irish stayer Master Of Reality with English-trained Prince Of Arran finishing third.

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