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Twilight Payment wins Melbourne Cup marred by tragedy

Twilight Payment (R) of Ireland, ridden by Jye McNeil, won the Melbourne Cup at Flemington

MELBOURNE – Irish raider Twilight Payment won the coveted Aus$8.0 million (US$5.5 million) Melbourne Cup on Tuesday in a race run without spectators and marred by the death of English Derby winner Anthony Van Dyck.

With Jye McNeil in the saddle, the eight-year-old gelding held off a charging Tiger Moth and Prince of Arran in a thrilling finish to the gruelling 3,200-metre (two mile) handicap, considered the ultimate test of stamina and staying power.

But Anthony Van Dyck, one of the pre-race favourites at Flemington, broke down with a leg injury and was later put down — the seventh Melbourne Cup horse to perish on race day since 2013.

McNeil, one of the rising stars of the sport, triumphed in his maiden Melbourne…

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