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By A Nostril! The Five Most Thrilling Melbourne Cup Finishes Of The Century

There's no Makybe Diva or Michelle Payne on this list, and there's a pretty obvious reason why.

Great mare Makybe Diva won three straight Melbourne Cups from 2003 to 2005 -- an unprecedented feat. But she was so good that she always won with a comfortable margin to the second-placed horse.

Similarly, Michelle Payne's ride on Prince of Penzance was so perfect, the race was pretty much in her keeping with 200 metres to go.

These were among the greatest moments in the history of the Great Race. But this story is about spine-tinglingly CLOSE finishes.

READ MORE: Giddy Up For The Melbourne Cup Carnival With 10's Coverage Here 

So with apologies to Michelle and the Diva, here are five Melbourne Cups that had us guessing who won right until the winning post -- and in some cases, a lot longer -- to whet your appetite for the 2019 Lexus Melbourne Cup on Network 10.

5. Efficient storms down the outside (2007)

Got there, a stride before the post. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

Efficient was devastating in the Spring of 2006, winning five races in a row, culminating in the Victoria Derby. The following year, the ghostly grey appeared to go off the boil. It didn't run a place in any of its six starts prior to the 2007 Melbourne Cup, and lined up in the great race as a $26 outsider.

Rounding the home turn near the back of the pack, its long price looked justified. But Efficient came home like a train. Could it catch leader Purple Moon, with champion jockey Damien Oliver on board? It could! Just.

4. Delta Blues fights off its Japanese compatriot (2006)

The reverse angle shows what a struggle it was. (Photo by Matt Blyth/Getty Images)

The 2006 Melbourne Cup was a battle of the Japanese horses. The winner, Delta Blues, did almost everything a Melbourne Cup winner should NOT do. It fought for the lead mid-race, sapping vital energy. It got to the lead way too early in the long Flemington straight.

Yet somehow, it still had enough in reserve to fight off its equine compatriot Pop Rock, in a ding-dong finish. Another second for Ollie, whose high-five to winning jockey Yasunari Iwata is still one of the great Melbourne Cup gestures.

3. Cross Counter comes from the clouds

Fresh from winning his fourth Cox Plate on champion mare Winx, jockey Hugh Bowman looked to have won his elusive first Melbourne Cup, when he hit the lead after a beautiful ride on European raider Marmelo.

But wait! Here comes Cross Counter! The gelding was third-last in a capacity field of 24 before the home turn, but rattled home to pip Marmelo just before the post, and give the Dubai-based Godolphin stable its first Melbourne Cup after almost three decades trying.

2. Dunaden beats Red Cadeaux by a pixel (2010)

Dunaden (top) wins by By THIS much.

A French horse called Americain won the 2010 Melbourne Cup. In 2011, Dunaden repeated the dose for the French, but only after a stirring battle over the last 200 with British horse Red Cadeaux.

On the post, it was anyone's guess who had won. And poor old Red Cadeaux would be runner-up twice more -- in 2013 and 2014.

1. Viewed beats Bauer by an even smaller pixel (2008)

Viewed this way, it doesn't look like Viewed won. Image: Getty.

Bauer was a seasoned European horse with impressive credentials trained by Luca Cumani, father of Network 10 racing expert Francesca.

Viewed, by any measure, was a long way from one of the greatest horses master trainer Bart Cummings had ever prepared. But somehow, that magic Cummings touch and a lovely Blake Shinn ride got Viewed over the line.

Everyone on course thought Bauer had won. The shot above is deceptive. Viewed is the horse obscured. But when it counted, his nose was just in front. And that gave Bart his 12th Cup. No one else has come close.

Network 10 is the official broadcaster of the 2019 Melbourne Cup Carnival.

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Network 10 is the official broadcaster of the 2019 Melbourne Cup Carnival.