Australian horse Vow and Declare has won the 2019 Melbourne Cup by a nose.

It’s the first time in 10 years an Australian horse has won the Cup.

Master of Reality crossed the line in second but was relegated to fourth after a protest from Il Paradiso’s handlers.

The race stewards deemed Master of Reality impacted Il Paradiso’s line coming into the final 100 metres of the race.

The upholding of the protest promoted Prince of Arran to second and Il Paradiso third.

Prince of Arran was ridden by New Zealand jockey Michael Walker.

Walker has been fined $10,000 and banned for seven races for excessive whip use.

Walker, whose team won $55,000 for coming second, was found to have used the whip more times than is allowed.

Horse welfare has been in Australian headlines recently, after allegations were aired last month that hundreds of registered racehorses are being sent to slaughterhouses in breach of racing rules and animal welfare guarantees.

Vow and Declare was ridden by Craig Williams, who had never won the race in 16 attempts.

The gelding led early and was tackled in the home straight before kicking back to win by the slimmest of margins.

“It was a privelege to ride him. We had a difficult barrier draw but (trainer) Danny (O’Brien) just said to trust him ‘we know what we can do’… I rode him on debut – just look at him he knows he won,” Williams said.

O’Brien, meanwhile, called it an amazing win.

“I really can’t believe it, I just feel incredibly blessed to have a horse good enough to be in it,” O’Brien said.

“The last 100 (metres) he just wouldn’t give in.”

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