Published: Wed, November 07, 2018
Entertaiment | By Paul Elliott

Melbourne Cup: Cross Counter trainer Charlie Appleby savours win in Australian race

Melbourne Cup: Cross Counter trainer Charlie Appleby savours win in Australian race

British stayer Cross Counter won the 158th running of the Melbourne Cup, handing the powerful Godolphin stable a first win in Australia's most famous horse race after 20 years of frustration.

"Our sympathies are extended to Coolmore and the Williams family, the owners of The Cliffsofmoher, jockey Ryan Moore, trainer Aidan O'Brien and his staff who cared for the horse and are greatly saddened by their loss".

The Cliffsofmoher suffered a fractured right shoulder and had to be euthanised.

Racing Victoria, the governing body in Australia's southern state, said The Cliffsofmoher "was unable to be saved due to the nature of the injury sustained".

But after riding him in a gallop last week, jockey Kerrin McEvoy said the horse seemed really well on the back of a good form line - two wins and a second in July and August - and time spent recovering from the wound. All four of the top finishers were bred in Great Britain.

Cross Counter ran down Marmelo over the final 200 metres to claim victory with Prince of Arran third.

Global horse racing giant Godolphin has finally won its first Melbourne Cup after more than a decade of trying, with Cross Counter winning the $7 million handicap at Flemington.

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

Cross Counter was third-last on the first turn.

Ryan Moore pulls up The Cliffsofmoher after it broke down in the first lap of the Melbourne Cup. "What a field to do it in".

"Today's tragedy is a stark reminder of the risks these horses face every time they run, and highlights that behind the gloss and glamour of Cup celebrations there is a dark reality".

During the trophy presentation, rain which had affected the lead-up to the race again started to fall at Flemington.

"I can't tell you how good it feels", said Appleby.

"Considering Australians hate cruelty to animals, commemorating a day on which horses routinely die in the Melbourne Cup is fundamentally un-Australian", a PETA spokesman said.

Another Aidan O'Brien horse, Yucatan, had gone off as an early favorite but finished 11th.

Japan-based Chestnut Coat, trained by Yoshito Yahagi, was 14th.

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