Melbourne Cup Racehorse The Cliffsofmoher Euthanised After Injury

Tanya Simon
November 8, 2018

A deluge of rain made for a treacherous start to Melbourne Cup day, forcing delays to races and trains to Flemington Racecourse, and leading to calls for the $7.3 million feature race to be cancelled.

First staged in 1861, the Melbourne Cup has been run on the first Tuesday of November since 1876, and winning it instantly makes the horse a household name in Australia.

"It's very sad. It could have been worse, Ryan could have taken a fall off him".

Raced by Lloyd Williams and trained by Irish champion Aidan O'Brien, The Cliffsofmoher had to be put down, the fourth time in the past six years that the Cup has been shrouded by the death of horses.

"The horse received immediate veterinary care, however it was unable to be saved due to the nature of the injury sustained".

It could be particularly cold for flamboyant British billionaire Marwan Koukash who has vowed to accept the trophy in his G-string if his horse Magic Circle wins the race.

Cross Counter's historic victory was described by his British trainer, Charlie Appleby, as "everybody's dream".

The win Down Under was only Cross Counter's eighth run and it came only 11 months after his debut.

On a rain-affected track and ridden by McEvoy for trainer Charlie Appleby, Cross Counter defeated Marmelo and A Prince Of Arran in an all-northern hemisphere finish.

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The victor stormed down from the outside in the final several hundred meters for a length victory.

McEvoy timed Cross Counter's run perfectly after turning into the final straight well back in the field.

Third-place finisher, Prince of Arran, had won the Lexus Stakes on Derby Day to secure its place in the Melbourne Cup, leaving trainer Charlie Fellowes agonisingly close to a Melbourne Cup Carnival double inside four days. "What a field to do it in".

"You have all these aspirations and five years ago when I was lucky enough to get the licence people asked me what are the two races you'd like to win for Godolphin and thankfully I've just knocked the second one out", reflected Appleby.

Earlier in the day the track had been downgraded from good to heavy as heavy rain made life extremely hard for the jockeys and horses in the lead-up races.

"I did promise (the kids) a swimming pool", McEvoy said.

It's been a stellar season for Appleby, landing his first Epsom Derby, recording a victory at the Breeders Cup meeting in Kentucky and then Tuesday's Melbourne Cup.

Yucatan, who finished 11th, pulled up lame in a near foreleg - a minor injury - but was also not in any further danger.

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