Whiskey Riot has given Rowsley greyhound trainer Anthony Azzopardi one of the biggest moments of his career.
Whiskey Riot ($5.90) took out the group 1 $630,000 Melbourne Cup, 515m, at Sandown Park on Friday.
He found the early lead, but was challenged throughout by outsider Western Envoy ($30.80) before getting up in a photo finish in 29.44 seconds on a rain-affected track.
Azzopardi struggled to hold back his emotions after Whiskey Riot claimed the $435,000 first prize.
"Unbelievable. I didn't know if he won or not when they crossed the finish line. Words can't describe it.
"This is what I've been working my whole life for," the former NSW-turned-Victorian trainer said.
"This is a whole family thing. This is for my (late) father. I wish he was here but he's not. But I know he'll be watching down."
It was a breakthrough first group win for the ever-consistent Whiskey Riot, which has been placed three times at group 1 level with a second in the Adelaide Cup, second in the Maturity Classic and third in the Topgun.
The son of Fernando Bale and Ready To Riot, which was bred in NSW, took his career record up to 17 wins from 35 starts, while he has earned $620,000 in prizemoney.
Based on earnings, Whiskey Riot is now the most successful dog Azzopardi has trained - going past Zambora Brockie with $531,000 from 31 wins.