Damian Lane returns to scale after winning on Moher (Image: Racing Photos)
Tony McEvoy's consistent performances in two-year-old races continued, as he made it back-to-back Maribyrnong Plate victories. After Aspect's win last year, Run Naan flew the flag for him in 2017 - and stablemate Belzella ran a strong third too. The amazing part about the result is that both his runners this year were at each-way quotes, as was Aspect last year (although Aspect beat the better-supported stablemate Azazel), but the fact remains, bypass his runners in these juvenile races at your peril. McEvoy pair Roobeena and Aristocratic Miss filled the minor placings in the fillies' race on Cup Day too.
Trainer Mick Kent was in the winners' enclosure in race two with Oncidium Ruler. And in the next, his son Michael Kent Jnr was there too - representing his old boss William Haggas, having taken care of import Fastnet Tempest while he has been in town - the Sale Cup runner-up breaking through over the Flemington mile from a luckless Raw Impulse. Fastnet Tempest will now transfer to the care of Lindsay Park.
Racing is full of ups and downs. Te Akau Racing claimed the Group 1 2000 Guineas in New Zealand with Opie Bosson riding Embellish to victory. But hours later, their star middle-distance galloper Gingernuts was injured in the lead-up to the $2million Emirates Stakes and was a late scratching.
The last race of the 2017 carnival was won by the same jockey that claimed the feature Emirates Melbourne Cup - Corey Brown - but in the same silks that saw him win it back in 2009. The Levi Kavanagh-trained Kentucky Breeze held on to win the Emirates Airline Handicap (1400m) from a fast-finishing Muraaqeb - who came from last to miss in a photo - to deliver the young trainer a momentous victory. The son of Melbourne Cup- and Cox Plate-winning trainer Mark, Levi had his first runner at the track in December 2015, and in just his second spring as a trainer in his own right, has struck with a carnival winner at Flemington.
"It's coming to an end now. After next week, I'll be a senior." Jockey Beau Mertens is set to finish up his apprenticeship under trainer Mick Kent, and what better way to end it than with a Cup week winner for his boss aboard Oncidium Ruler. It was Mertens' 207th career winner, and his 88th in town in Melbourne, as the 20-year-old prepares to embark on life as a senior jockey once he returns from a nine-meeting suspension incurred on Oaks Day. He will be free to ride next Saturday night for the unique tricodes race night at Cranbourne.
"We had a Royal Ascot winner, actually." - the Kerrin McEvoy/William Haggas partnership can tick off winners at two of world racing's most famous racing carnivals after Fastnet Tempest held on to win Melbourne's Own 3AW Trophy (1600m) on Saturday. Collection was their winner together at Ascot in 2008.
"This spring has [gone smoothly]- nothing's gone right before this spring, to be honest." - Darren Weir credited a massive turnaround in fortunes for helping Tosen Stardom deliver the goods in the Group 1 Emirates Stakes. It was both trainer Weir and jockey Damian Lane's first win in the race formerly known as the Mackinnon Stakes, and Tosen Stardom did it in fine style, kicking away late by 1.5 lengths from Happy Clapper.
Andrew Mallyon - one Melbourne Cup Carnival ride, for one win. Run Naan was Mallyon's lone mount at Flemington for the week, and he made it count with a big finish to claim the Maribyrnong Plate for trainer Tony McEvoy. Mallyon also rode General Truce to victory in this race in 2009, when a $61 shot. And in a nice piece of symmetry, both Run Naan and General Truce came through a debut win at Bendigo as well, with Mallyon on board for both of those one-two punches.
Flemington crowd - 68,873 (down on last year's 70,351). The carnival total was 310,608.
Jake Bayliss - first New Zealand winner, steering The Boy Wonder to victory for Michael Moroney and Pam Gerard at Te Rapa. It is almost two years to the day since Bayliss made his Group 1 debut on NZ soil on Saturday week's raceday - for the 1000 Guineas - aboard Trinity Hill for Cranbourne-based horseman Francis Finnegan. He's now back on NZ shores for a summer contract working for the Moroney stable. The change to cross the Tasman proved immediately fruitful for the 23-year-old, whose most recent winner prior was two months ago in aiding Main Stage - subsequently fifth in the AAMI Victoria Derby - to his maiden win.
Bon Amis - the Newcastle-trained four-year-old is now 4/4 at the races after a professional performance in town at Rosehill for trainer Jason Deamer. The horse cost just $4000, and has already brought in over $92,000 in stakes.
Cory Parish - he chalked up his first winner since the Caulfield Cup, helping Emaan break her maiden for Lindsay Park at Geelong. Will the P-train be bound for Japan alongside his Cup winner Boom Time? Time will tell.