Lucky charm lifts Corey Brown to Cup glory
CHAMPION jockey Corey Brown walked into Flemington with a gold nugget the size of a golf ball in his jacket pocket and walked out carrying a second Melbourne Cup.
The "lucky charm" was given to Brown, 41, the night before but he was unable to take it into the $6.2m classic because of its weight.
A property developer friend loaned Brown the nugget, found while "kicking around a property", for the 3200m race.
"He's taken it everywhere and everything he touches turns to gold," Brown said after guiding Rekindling to victory for magnate Lloyd Williams, now a six-time winner of Australia's biggest race, and blue-blood young trainer Joseph O'Brien - son of Aidan.
"He (property developer) was good enough to give it to me last night and told that it's for luck.
"If that's what worked (then) so be it."
Brown was speechless after the race but thankful for the opportunity to ride for Williams and O'Brien.
He approached the leviathan owner six weeks ago for the ride on Rekindling - one of six Williams-owned Cup entrants.
"I had picked this one (Rekindling) out at the top of the list," Brown said.
"His credentials stood out more than the others and only having 51-and-a-half (kilograms) on his back limited riders in Australia so I put my case forward."
Brown piloted Rekindling perfectly despite landing in an awkward spot in the second half of the field after the frenetic start.
But the crafty veteran worked through the field before popping three-and-four wide entering the straight, allowing Rekindling to reel in stablemate Johannes Vermeer.
"Once I got over the back, 1200m mark, there was a little bit of confusion in front of us and Max Dynamite (finished third) and I we squeezed hard against the fence and got through the trouble," Brown said.
"From that moment onwards wherever I pointed him he was happy to go so I was always travelling well.
"Although it wasn't a big margin I felt the winner a long way out.
"I'd spent nothing getting to the straight, I was quietly confident, not that you can ever be confident in a Melbourne Cup, but I was travelling really well."
Brown has ridden in six Group 1s since landing in Sydney nine months ago after a four-week "working holiday" turned into four years riding in Singapore and France.
He hopes the breakthrough Melbourne Cup, his second after riding Shocking to victory in 2009, will "open up a few more doors".
"I keep saying I haven't found my place yet, it's hard with the young guns that we're competing against now," Brown said.
"I've been getting lots of opportunities (in big races) and I've been having a lot of luck."