It’s not often that Murray Bridge has a connection with the Melbourne Cup, however, successful horse trainer and former Murray Bridge resident Robert Hickmott has won the race that stops the nation for the second time.
Almandin, trained by Hickmott, owned by Lloyd Williams and ridden by jockey Kerrin McEvoy, made it across the line just ahead of Heartbreak City to take first place in a thrilling race.
Hickmott was also the official trainer of Green Moon when it took out the race in 2012 and was heavily involved with the training of the 2007 winner Efficient.
He is the son of active Murray Bridge horse trainer John Hickmott and former best and fairest footballer at the Jervois Football Club.
John said the whole family was there for the special moment.
“It was unbelievably good and Mr Williams was over the Moon,” he said.
“He has won two Melbourne Cups, now he’s out to catch Bart, he won 11 so he’s a way off but he still has the time to do it.”
Murray Bridge Racing Club Secretary John Buhagiar said the club was chuffed that it was John’s (Hickmott) son.
He has won two Melbourne Cups, now he’s out to catch Bart, he won 11 so he's a way off but he still has the time to do it.John Hickmott
“We are thrilled for John and excited that his lad has won the cup,” he said.
Owner of Almandin, Lloyd Williams said Hickmott had been with him for 15 years.
“You have got to admire his dedication and persistence,” he said.
“This horse was broken down, and he’s brought him back.”
Williams said they both pay very close attention to detail and discuss the horses a lot.
“He rings me and tells me where they are, what their temperatures are, what they have eaten.”
It’s that attention to detail, it seems, that wins the Melbourne Cup.