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Green Moon's execution was perfect
Simon O'Donnell
11:30 AEST Wed Nov 7 2012

Simon O'Donnell is a Nine Network sports commentator who played AFL and cricket at the highest level. He also has interests in some of the country's top racehorses and has come agonisingly close to winning the Melbourne Cup.
Simon O'Donnell

You don't get handed Melbourne Cups on a platter and the horse, the ride, the planning was all executed to perfection this year. It was a wonderful effort by everyone connected to Green Moon.

You've probably read suggestions that the slow pace of this year's race didn't suit some of the early favourites, but that's the beauty of Australian racing.

Tactically, lots of sets of circumstances arrive and Green Moon was the one that was able to adapt to those circumstances better than any other. Whether they are run fast or slow, it's the way it was and Green Moon and jockey Brett Prebble did a great job to do what they did.

The key ingredient to racing is passion and the Williams team has that in spades. Green Moon's owner Lloyd Williams, alongside his son Nick, have a fierce desire to win the Melbourne Cup and I don't think that desire will wane. They'll keep at it and at it.

This year's Cup win was their fourth in the great race and trainer Robert Hickmott’s first. It proves that Robert is doing a very good job at the Williams' Mount Macedon training grounds in Victoria. It's a great thrill for them and I'm sure that once they have a look back at it they will settle down and will be as keen as ever to line up the next one.

What this race has proven once more is that internationally bred horses are dominating the race. Eight of the top 10 placings were filled by horses that are bred out of Ireland which is a staggering figure. I think that still augers well for the future. It's still a great race, a quality race, which demands that European horses acclimatise to our tactics, rather than the tactics that they been brought up with.

In a way, it adds another dimension to the type of horse you need. Green Moon has been here for a couple of years and running in the Australian pattern would have held it in very good stead yesterday once that pace slowed in the early stages of the Cup.

Crown Oaks

A 2,500m spring race for three year olds is a difficult assignment as we saw in the Victoria Derby, but I believe Zydeco has the small class difference over her rivals in the Crown Oaks this year.

Her main challengers will be the other two top rated fillies in Dear Demi and Summerbliss. While I think Zydeco is the horse to beat, I wouldn't be prepared to talk anyone out of their selections from one of the top three favourites.