Updated on 09/15/2011 1:24PM

Ethereal wins Melbourne Cup


Ethereal ran down Give the Slip in deep stretch to land the $1.87 million Melbourne Cup Handicap at Flemington Racecourse on Tuesday.

Ethereal's three-quarter-length victory was the first for a woman trainer in Australia's fabled race. The Welsh-born, New Zealand-based Sheila Laxon took the plaudits in the winner's circle along with owners J.P. and P.M. Vela and jockey Scott Seamer.

Ethereal's triumph in Melbourne was no fluke, as she had won the 1 1/2-mile Group 1 Caulfield Cup against colts in her last outing, on Oct. 20.

Give the Slip nearly did just that to his 21 rivals in the grueling two-mile, Group 1 race. Richard Hills put the 30-1 Give the Slip on the lead and was headed only 50 yards from the line. Give the Slip's loss was another heartbreaker for his home stable of Godolphin, which had narrowly missed in the Breeders' Cup Classic with Sakhee just 10 days earlier.

Another British invader, the David Elsworth-trained Persian Punch, was third, six lengths behind Give the Slip. Marien-bard, Godolphin's first-stringer ridden by Frankie Dettori, was seventh, while the 5-1 Australian favorite, Sky Heights, finished eighth.

Ethereal, a 4-year-old Rhythm filly, ran a final time of 3:21.08 for the two miles on yielding ground. Sent off at 9-1 by the locals at Flemington, she paid a mere $11.40 at more than 100 simulcast outlets in the United States.