Backed into $1.70 favouritism to start as one of the shortest priced favourites in the race’s 55 year history, El Grand Senor sent a shudder through the large crowd as he was beaten out of the boxes by Dee Winter ($12.50) and Dyna Obelia ($22.80).
However the leviathan 39kg son of Where’s Pedro showed a tremendous turn of foot, accelerating through a narrow gap to find the lead through the first turn and open up a race winning margin down the back straight. El Grand Senor then powered to the line in 29.55, defeating Symmetry ($7.20) by 6.25 lengths with Dee Winter a further two lengths away third.
“I feel like the luckiest person in the world right now with such a fantastic dog,” said owner/trainer Carolyn Jones, who also bred her champion sprinter.
“This is the biggest and most exciting race on our program, and I’m just so pleased to have been part of it.”
While there is plenty of interest from greyhound breeders around the world, Jones has no thoughts of retiring El Grand Senor to stud.
Tonight’s win was the 23rd of his 29 race career. Remarkably, El Grand Senor has started favourite in all but one of his career starts, and has started at even money or better on just five occasions. He also overcame a 15 year hoodoo to become the first greyhound to win the Melbourne Cup from box 2 since City Blitz in 1995.
The $175,000 winner’s cheque took his career prizemoney to beyond $425,000, becoming just the 10th greyhound to pass $400,000 in prizemoney, and placing the two and a half year old within striking distance of Rapid Journey’s Australasian prizemoney record of $530,995.