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Apprentice thrilled by Cup race experience

Ben Thompson has thoroughly enjoyed his first Melbourne Cup experience despite finishing at the tail of the field.

The 19-year-old apprentice rode $61 chance Rose Of Virginia in Tuesday’s race at Flemington.

Rose Of Viginia finished tailed off of the 24 runners.

“I can’t thank the connections enough,” Thompson said.

“It’s been an unreal experience just to soak it up going down the straight.

“You can’t put a price on that.”

Thompson thought Rose Of Virginia was travelling well at the 900m and was looking to follow Hartnell into the race 200m later.

His race was over soon after.

Nerves weren’t a factor for Thompson who spent Cup eve on the play station with fellow apprentice Jye McNeil before being up early to ride trackwork onTuesday morning before a pre-raceday nap.

“I’m hoping this is the first of many more,” Thompson said.

“I rode in the Sale Cup last Sunday week and that was pretty good but this is awesome.

“It’s the best experience I’ve had in my life.”

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