IT WAS not the win that owners John Fiteni and Kathy Stewart wanted but a late surge from Surprise Baby has seen him clinch fifth place at the Melbourne Cup.
The five-year-old gelding looked gone with 400 metres to go but a stellar ride from 23-year-old jockey Jordan Childs saw him fly past favourites Finche and Constantinople over the last 100 metres.
Pre-race predictions that Surprise Baby would struggle from barrier 18 were on the money.
He was at the back of the field for most of the race before coming home with a wet sail to finish fifth, just metres behind winner Vow and Declare.
In a race dominated by outsiders, Prince of Aran finished second after a protest which saw Master of Reality bumped down to fourth.
SURPRISE Baby has shortened into $13 with two hours to go until the Melbourne Cup.
Finche is now the $8.50 outright favourite with many bookmakers after a fluctuation in the price for Mer De Glace, who is paying $9.50.
Surprise Baby remains a $4 chance to place.
BOOKMAKERS have gone cold on Alexandra Hills owned horse Surprise Baby just hours out from the Melbourne Cup.
The New Zealand bred horse, who is the son of 2009 Melbourne Cup winner Shocking, was $9 with some bookies after earning a golden ticket to the race that stops the nation after a win at The Bart Cummings.
He has ballooned out to $14 over the last week with Finche ($8.50) and Mer De Glace ($8.50) earning favouritism on a track that was graded a soft six yesterday afternoon.
Surprise Baby's horror barrier draw has contributed to his fading appeal with punters, who consider him a place chance only.
He will start from barrier 18 while joint favourite and Caulfield Cup winner Mer De Glace has drawn barrier two as he shoots for seven wins in a row.
Surprise Baby's owners John Fiteni and Kathy Stewart, who have travelled from Alex Hills to Flemington to cheer on their horse, can take heart from the Robert Hickmott trained Almandin who also came off a win at The Bart Cummings before winning the Melbourne Cup in 2016.
Surprise Baby's other threat is Vow And Declare who is priced at $12.
More cup reading: