FRENCH horse Dunaden has pipped Red Cadeaux in a photo finish to win the the 2011 Melbourne Cup at Flemington.
The two stayers could not be separated at the line after storming home down the straight side-by-side.
But after what seemed an eternity, stewards gave the nod to the six-year-old Dunaden and trainer, Mikel Delzangles, his first taste of Melbourne Cup success.
Never to steer away from the middle of the pack through the first 1700 metres, Dunaden finally sprang to life heading into the straight.
The stallion hit the lead with about a hundred metres to run, before Red Cadeaux pulled alongside with nothing but the line left to race.
"I was sure it'd have a very good chance ... it gave everything," Dunaden jockey Christope Lemaire said.
"I knew it was very close, I knew I could win."
It was another successful Melbourne Cup for the internationals, with Dunaden and English-bred Red Cadeaux followed home by German horse Lucas Cranach and reigning champion, Americain.
Earlier, the 23-horse field jumped safely away from the barriers, with the Bart Cummings trained Illo picking up the lead in the front straight.
The six-year-old had a three-horse length lead by the 1700 metre mark as the field started to spread.
However, stablemate Precedence led the field back to the early front-runner and, heading for home, started the charge for victory.
But the European might of Dunaden and Red Cadeaux was too much for the rest of the field and only the flash of a camera could separate first from second.
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