Sir Alex Ferguson hits Flemington! Horse racing fanatic delights in FINALLY attending the Melbourne Cup as legendary Man United boss jokes the weather conditions in Austrlia made him feel at home: 'It's like Scottish weather' 

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Sir Alex Ferguson ticked off an item off his bucket list as he watched Mark Zahra riding Gold Trip to a thrilling Melbourne Cup victory on Tuesday.

A huge horse racing fan, the legendary former Manchester United manager was pictured in the famous Birdcage enclosure at Flemington and revealed he had long planned to attend Australia's biggest horse race.

'I’m delighted,' he told the Herald Sun.

Sir Alex Ferguson looked in cheerful mood as he attended the Melbourne Cup

Sir Alex Ferguson looked in cheerful mood as he attended the Melbourne Cup

Sir Alex Ferguson looked in cheerful mood as he attended the Melbourne Cup

'I’ve been trying to get here for years.'

Ferguson, who won 38 major trophies including 13 Premier League titles and two Champions Leagues during his 27-year reign at Old Trafford, cut a cheerful figure as he posed for pictures at the race course.

He met legendary Aussie trainer Gai Waterhouse on Tuesday, joining him in the mounting yard before watching the race that stops a nation from a private suit.

He was joined in the VIP enclosure by the likes of Australia swimming stars Cody Simpson and Ariarne Titmus and Australia Rugby League Commission chairman Peter V'Landys.

The legendary former Manchester United manager is a keen horse racing fan

The legendary former Manchester United manager is a keen horse racing fan

The 80-year-old said he was impressed with the Melbourne Cup set-up

The 80-year-old said he was impressed with the Melbourne Cup set-up

Ferguson was joined in the Birdcage by swimming stars Cody Simpson and Ariarne Titmus

Ferguson was joined in the Birdcage by swimming stars Cody Simpson and Ariarne Titmus

Those watching from the Birdcage were among the lucky few to remain dry during the day, as torrential rain continued to batter Melbourne making conditions tricky for the approximately 100,000 fans who attended the race.

Ferguson, however, joked the weather reminded him of home.

'It’s like Scottish weather,' he quipped.

From Royal Ascot, to the Grand National and the Cheltenham Festival, Ferguson is a regular guest at Britain's biggest horse racing events. 

Mark Zahra made up for losing his ride on last year's Melbourne Cup winner by steering Gold Trip to a sensational win at Flemington

Mark Zahra made up for losing his ride on last year's Melbourne Cup winner by steering Gold Trip to a sensational win at Flemington

Zahra and his wife Elyse celebrate by holding aloft the famed Melbourne Cup in a day their family will never forget

Zahra and his wife Elyse celebrate by holding aloft the famed Melbourne Cup in a day their family will never forget

But the 80-year-old admitted being taken aback by the scale of the Melbourne Cup. 

'I’m really impressed with the set-up here,' he said.

'The hospitality is nice. You don’t get this many people in the crowds in England.

'Maybe at the Epsom Derby.'

Ferguson celebrates with Harry Cobden after he won the Betway Bowl on Clan Des Obeaux at Aintree in April this year

Ferguson celebrates with Harry Cobden after he won the Betway Bowl on Clan Des Obeaux at Aintree in April this year

He co-owns several horses, including Clan Des Obeaux, a two-time King George VI Chase winner at Kempton, who won two Grade 1 races last year in the Betway Bowl at Aintree and the Punchestown Gold Cup and won a second consecutive Betway Bowl in April this year.

Protektorat is also part of Ferguson's stable. Trained by Dan Skelton, he won the Grade 2 Unibet Many Clouds Chase at Aintree last year by an astonishing 25 lengths over Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Native River. 

Along with Monmiral, Clan Des Obeaux and Protektorat were part of the Aintree treble last year that saw Ferguson win three Grade 1 races at the famous race course in on one day in April last year.

Rock of Gibraltar, one of Ferguson's most famous horse, died last week. The sire was one of the most successful that the former United manager owned in his time in racing

Rock of Gibraltar, one of Ferguson's most famous horse, died last week. The sire was one of the most successful that the former United manager owned in his time in racing

Ferguson's perhaps most famous horse, Rock of Gibraltar, died last week. 

The stallion, which won seven Group 1 races across a glittering career including the 2,000 Guineas in 2002, became the subject of a major legal dispute between Ferguson and John Magnier after Ferguson believed he was due half of the horse's stud fees.

Upon its retirement in 2003, with the horse by some estimates worth up to £200m owing to expensive fees for its breeding, Ferguson sought to take legal action against Magnier whom he believed was denying him what he owed. 

So began a series of events that eventually led to the breakdown in relationship between Ferguson, Magnier and JP McManus that ushered in the Glazer ownership of United. 

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