Melbourne Cup 'tragedy' as horse reportedly put down


The race was tinged with sadness however with The Cliffsofmoher breaking down towards the end of the opening straight.

Unnoticed amid the tragedy of The Cliffsofmoher's death after the Melbourne Cup was how Ryan Moore handled the situation.

The Cliffsofmoher, prepared by master trainer Aidan O'Brien, pulled up lame early in the gruelling 3200-metre handicap won by Cross Counter, and was later put down on the track after vets found the five-year-old stallion had broken a shoulder.

Racing Victoria's integrity chief Jamie Stier is adamant visiting European trainers have praised the Werribee quarantine facility after pledging to investigate whether there's a tangible link between internationals and fatalities in the Melbourne Cup.

"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".

Cross Counter wins the 2018 Melbourne Cup.

Described as a "tragedy" by veteran Seven commentator Bruce McAvaney, the United Kingdom raider pulled up lame as the field passed the finishing post for the first time.

"Cliffsofmoher, he's melting like an ice-cream at the moment", Seven commentator Richard Freedman said.

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But it was also noted in the coverage that the horse frequently did this before races, including when he ran without incident last start in the Caulfield Cup to finish third.

But it was Teofilo son Cross Counter who made history by becoming the first British-trained racehorse to win the Melbourne Cup.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has called for an investigation into the death, which it described as "the most recent victim of the cruel annual spectacle known as the Melbourne Cup".

In the same 2014 race, import Araldo had to be euthanised because of an injury suffered when he was returning to scale.

The following year fan favourite Red Cadeaux shattered a leg and was put down on the track.

Last year Regal Monarch, which fell in race four on Melbourne Cup day, was euthanased after being injured during the race.

"Unfortunately these things can happen to a horse galloping around the field at home", he said.

In Australia a racing horse dies on average, every three days a from injury sustained in a race.