Vow And Declare won a dramatic Melbourne Cup while Frankie Dettori’s runner-up Master Of Reality was demoted to fourth after a stewards’ inquiry.
The build-up to the race had seen animal welfare in the spotlight after recent cruelty scandals in Australia.
All 24 horses appeared to return back safely, although Rostropovich was later found to be lame and was receiving veterinary treatment.
How the drama unfolded
Dettori, who first rode in the Flemington race 26 years ago when Master Of Reality’s trainer was just six months old, sensed this could be his chance to finally claim the AUS$8m (£4.3m) race.
The Italian-born jockey, who has ridden a personal record of 19 top-level Group One winners this year, was always handily placed and pushed his mount clear as the race developed in the final quarter-mile.
But just as Master Of Reality looked to have stolen the prize, Williams shot up the inside on Vow And Declare.
Meanwhile, Prince Of Arran came into contention and Il Paradiso finished with a late flourish under Wayne Lordan.
The pair were closing all the time before being checked as Dettori drifted to his left and Vow And Declare just managed to keep on for a narrow victory.
Full Melbourne Cup result
1 Vow And Declare 10-1 2 Prince Of Arran 16-1 3 Il Paridiso 14-1 4 Master Of Reality 25-1
(Master Of Reality demoted from second to fourth, Prince Of Arran promoted to third from second, Il Paradiso up to third)
5 Surprise Baby 6 Mer De Glace 7 Finche 8 Cross Counter 9 Steel Prince
10 Magic Wand 11 Twilight Payment 12 Sound 13 Constantinople 14 Mirage Dancer 15 Hunting Horn 16 Raymond Tusk
17 The Chosen One 18 Latrobe 19 Southern France 20 Youngstar 21 Neufbosc 22 Downdraft 23 Mustajeer 24 Rostroprovich