The first European-trained winner of the Melbourne Cup, the Dermot Weld-trained Vintage Crop, has passed away at the age of 27.
The Irish-trained Vintage Crop ridden by Michael Kinane produced a withering burst over the last 800m on a sodden Melbourne November afternoon in 1993 to forever change the shape of the Melbourne Cup to make it a truly international race.
Vintage Crop defeated Te Akau Nick, trained by a young Gai Waterhouse, with New Zealand galloper Mercator filling the minor placing.
Vintage Crop returned the following year to defend his Melbourne Cup title finishing seventh behind imported galloper Jeune. He came back for a third attempt in 1995 when a game third to Doriemus.
He retired after the 1995 Melbourne Cup with the outstanding record of 26 starts for 16 wins and 6 minor placings. He earned $2,165,235, which included two wins over jumps, making him one of the most versatile winners of the Cup.
Vintage Crop was retired to the Living Legends section of the Irish National Stud where he remained a popular attraction until he passed away.