Danny Munce watches with bated breath as his brother Chris rides Tullamore in the Melbourne Cup.
Danny Munce watches with bated breath as his brother Chris rides Tullamore in the Melbourne Cup. Marc Stapelberg

Tullamore carries weight of Casino

THE people of Casino were on the edge of their seats yesterday as the hometown boy Chris Munce gave his all in the Melbourne Cup.

Sporting brown silks aboard Tullamore, the Casino-raised jockey was hoping to win his second Melbourne Cup, having won the race in 1998 on Jezabeel.

But it was not to be.

Watching the race from the Casino RSM were Chris's brother Danny Munce and his sister Kellie Handford.

The Northern Star spoke to the nervous but excited siblings before the big race.

"I'll just be hoping he gets around safe and he is there at the finish," Danny said.

Mrs Handford said she was hoping for a win and said it would mean "everything" if her brother managed to be first past the post.

She said the whole of Casino was backing Chris, just as they had done through the good times and the bad.

And yesterday that support was palpable as a small but enthusiastic crowd turned up at the club to watch him guide Tullamore.

"Go Chris," some punters called when at one stage it appeared the Gai Waterhouse-trained gelding may have been making a break from the field.

In the lead-up to the race the crowd watching the live telecast let out a cheer each time Chris appeared on the screen.

But Tullamore finished 14th while French and English horses battled it out on the line.

"He rode fine, but at the end of the day he didn't have a clear passage," Danny said.

"It's a very tough race."

In the end, Dunaden survived the closest finish in the history of the Melbourne Cup to give France its second straight victory in Australia's greatest race.

The judges had to use extreme magnification to separate Dunaden from English horse Red Cadeaux.

Germany's Lucas Cranach was third, just edging last year's winner Americain into fourth.

The race was dominated by international runners, who filled nine of the first 10 places. Niwot was the first local runner home.