There were claims of a robbery at the Melbourne Cup after Vow and Declare saluted in a thrilling finish.

Jockey Craig Williams finally won the biggest race in Australia at his 15th attempt, fighting back late to hand victory to trainer Danny O'Brien.

But interference from Master of Reality, which prevented late-charging Il Paradiso from challenging Vow and Declare for the lead, drew an official protest from race stewards which was upheld.

Il Paradiso was promoted from fourth to third. Prince of Arran was promoted from third to second.

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Master of Reality looked set to give jockey Frankie Dettori his first win but in a desperate finish involving four horses, Vow And Declare took an inside run and put his head down when it counted to win in a photo finish.

Il Paradiso attempted to move between the two leaders but saw his opening disappear as Master of Reality cut across his path.

READ MORE:
2019 Melbourne Cup: How they finished
2019 Melbourne Cup: Your ultimate form guide

Extraordinary cost of jockey's brain snap

Stewards have found that jockey Frankie Dettori blocked stablemate Il Paradiso in the run to the line, dumping the second place-finisher back to fourth.

The stewards protest was upheld in a bizarre hearing where both Dettori and Il Paradiso's jockey Wayne Lordan refused to give evidence that would result in Master of Reality being penalised.

After reviewing race footage, stewards needed little time to rule Dettori and Master of Reality infringed on Il Paradiso.

Racing Victoria announced after the stewards meeting that Master of Reality has officially been relegated to finish fourth, while third-place finisher Prince of Arran has been promoted to second and Il Paradiso has officially finished third.

The protest has cost the connections of Master of Reality a whopping $750,000, dropping the ownership group from the $1.1m prize for second-place to the $350,000 prize for fourth.

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Lordan insisted his horse wasn't checked.

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"I didn't have to stop riding," he said of the contact from Master of Reality.

"It was very close at the line. I didn't know how much of a difference it made. We have got tight, but I honestly don't know how much of a difference it made.

"It was very close to the line. My horse didn't back out of it. He's a very tough horse and he kept running through it."

Dettori said Il Paradiso still had room to move.

"He was going left. I put both hands on the rein and straightened him up. They had plenty of room to move through," Dettori said.

Vow and Declare won the 2019 Melbourne Cup. Photo / Getty Images.
Vow and Declare won the 2019 Melbourne Cup. Photo / Getty Images.

Cup runner suffers serious injury

Melbourne Cup runner Rostropovich has been transported to stables in Werribee with a suspected serious injury.

The David Hayes trained horse finished fifth in last year's Cup, but limped to the finish in last place in 2019.

It emerged after the race exactly why Rostropovich struggled so much – with reports claiming the five-year-old runner suffered a cracked pelvis.
"He couldn't weight bear," David Hayes said.
"But I think with a bit of painkillers, he's relieved. It's a sad story, anyway."

Jockey Dwayne Dunn appeared to ease Rostropovich to the finish in a bid to minimise injury complications.

Despite being able to finish the race, Rostropovich was taken to Werribee Equine Centre to receive medical treatment.

Insane bet on Cup winner

A thrifty punter has been revealed to have made a Nostradamus-like punt on Vow and Declare to win the Melbourne Cup back in June.

A genius punter is grinning from ear to ear after the insane decision to place a $1000 each-way bet on Vow and Declare to win and place paid off dramatically.

The TAB says a punter put $100 (at odds of $201) on Vow and Declare to win the Melbourne Cup and $900 (at odds of $51) for the horse to place all the way back on June 8.

The punter collected a cool $66,000 from the bet.

The bet came after Vow And Declare finished second to Mr Quickie in the Queensland Derby five months ago.

First

23. VOW AND DECLARE (AUS) - Jockey: Craig Williams, Trainer: Danny O'Brien

Second

12. PRINCE OF ARRAN (GB) - Jockey: Michael Walker, Trainer: Charlie Fellowes

Third

20. IL PARADISO (USA) - Jockey: Wayne Lordan, Trainer: Aidan O'Brien

Fourth

3. MASTER OF REALITY (IRE) – Jockey: Frankie Dettori, Trainer: Joseph O'Brien

The rest of the results are as follows:

5. 18. SURPRISE BABY (NZ) - Jockey: Jordan Childs, Trainer: Paul Preusker

6. 2. MER DE GLACE (JPN) - Jockey: Damian Lane, Trainer: Hisashi Shimizu

7. 11. FINCHE (GB) - Jockey: Kerrin McEvoy, Trainer: Chris Waller

8. 1. CROSS COUNTER (GB) - Jockey: James Doyle, Trainer: Charlie Appleby

9. 21. STEEL PRINCE (IRE) - Jockey: Brett Prebble, Trainer: Anthony Freedman

10. 15. MAGIC WAND (IRE) - Jockey: Ryan Moore, Trainer: Aidan O'Brien

11. 10. TWILIGHT PAYMENT (IRE) - Jockey: Hugh Bowman, Trainer: Joseph O'Brien

12. 17. SOUND (GER) - Jockey: James Winks, Trainer: Michael Moroney

13. 19. CONSTANTINOPLE (IRE) - Jockey: Joao Moreira, Trainer: David Hayes, Ben Hayes and Tom Dabernig

14.4. MIRAGE DANCER (GB) - Jockey: Ben Melham, Trainer: Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young

15.6. HUNTING HORN (IRE) - Jockey: Seamie Heffernan, Trainer: Aidan O'Brien

16.13. RAYMOND TUSK (IRE) - Jockey: Jamie Spencer, Trainer: Richard Hannon

17. 22. THE CHOSEN ONE (NZ) - Jockey: Tim Clark, Trainer: Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman

18. 7. LATROBE (IRE) – Jockey: James McDonald, Trainer: Joseph O'Brien

19. 5. SOUTHERN FRANCE (IRE) - Jockey: Mark Zahra, Trainer: Ciaron Maher and David Eustace

20. 24. YOUNGSTAR (AUS) - Jockey: Tommy Berry, Trainer: Chris Waller

21. 16. NEUFBOSC (FR) - Jockey: Luke Nolen, Trainer: David Hayes, Ben Hayes and Tom Dabernig

22. 14. DOWNDRAFT (IRE) - Jockey: John Allen, Trainer: Joseph O'Brien

23. 8. MUSTAJEER (GB) - Jockey: Damien Oliver, Trainer:Kris Lees

24. 9. ROSTROPOVICH (IRE) - Jockey: Dwayne Dunn, Trainer: David Hayes, Ben Hayes and Tom Dabernig