Melbourne Cup: Almandin delivers second win for jockey Kerrin McEvoy

Story highlights

  • Tight finish in what was considered a wide open race
  • 24 horses raced for a top price of $2.75 million

(CNN)Almandin has narrowly defeated Heartbreak City to win the 2016 Melbourne Cup.

It's the second Cup win for jockey Kerrin McEvoy who rode Brew to victory 16 years ago in the 2000 race.
    "I'm very lucky privileged to have won a second cup and great to do it in the colors for Mr Williams and his family," McEvoy said moments after the race, referencing Lloyd Williams, who now holds the record with five Cup winners.
    The Melbourne Cup is Australia's richest and most famous race. For a few minutes on the first Tuesday of every November, the nation is transfixed as a field of international and local talent compete for the A$3.6 million (US$2.75 million) prize.
    The last moments of the two mile (3,200 meter) race ratcheted up the tension as Almandin and Heartbreak City engaged in a sprint along the final 300 meters.
    This year's field was considered wide open. Favorite British gelding Hartnell came third, while the other horses attracting pre-race money, Oceanographer and Australian mare Jameka, finished in the middle of the pack.
    Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull tweeted his congratulations and revealed that he'd won the office sweep.
    Millions of Australians stop to watch the race, which is the highlight of the four-day Spring Carnival at Flemington Racecourse.
    Last year, jockey Michelle Payne made history as the first woman to win the race on 100-1 outsider Prince of Penzance. This year's only female jockey, 22-year-old Katelyn Mallyon, finished in 19th place in the field of 24 on six-year-old Irish gelding Assign.
    When Payne won she lambasted the "chauvinists" in the racing world who didn't believe a woman could do it. "Get stuffed," she famously said in post-match interviews.
    The riding breeches Payne wore to win the race have since been sold to the National Museum of Australia for a reported A$40,000 (US$30,400).
    The Melbourne Cup was first run in 1861. It attracts more than 310,000 fans to Flemington Racecourse and millions more watch on TV -- and now online. For the first time, the event was livestreamed on Twitter.
    The day of the Melbourne Cup is a public holiday in the state of Victoria so residents can watch the race.
    Every year, the race attracts calls for an end to animal cruelty amid claims the horses are being pushed ever harder to win the title.