THE Melbourne Cup has been marred by the death of star UK galloper The CliffsofMoher.
The Aidan O’Brien-trained runner broke down after crossing the post the first time — just 1000m after the start.
It’s believed The CliffsofMoher suffered a fractured right shoulder. Vets quickly attended to the Irish runner — ridden by star English jockey Ryan Moore — but nothing could be done to save the five-year-old stallion.
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Vets were forced to euthanise the stricken horse. Connections immediately knew the severity of the situation.
In a statement released by Victoria Racing, the sad news was confirmed.
“It is with sadness that we confirm that The Cliffsofmoher had to be humanely euthanised after sustaining a fractured right shoulder during the running of the Melbourne Cup at Flemington,” Executive General Manager Jamie Stier said.
“The horse received immediate veterinary care, however it was unable to be saved due to the nature of the injury sustained.
“This was an unfortunate incident that happens infrequently, with Victoria having one of the best safety records in world racing.
“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.”
Stier said vets were with the horse “all but immediately” and that it had received the best possible care.
The horse will be subject to a post-mortem but there had been no indication of any issue pre-race.
Cliffsofmoher is the sixth horse to die in a Melbourne Cup since 2013.
Immediately after the race, Aidan O’Brien conceded it “didn’t look good”.
“It’s a shocking thing but unfortunately things can happen to a horse galloping around the field at home. It’s very sad,” Joe O’Brien said.
“It could have been worse, Ryan (Moore) could have taken a fall off him, someone could have been seriously injured.
“Obviously it looked quite serious.”.
“The Chairmen and Directors of the Victoria Racing Club (VRC) extend their sympathies to the Williams family and the connections of The CliffsofMoher, which was euthanised after he went amiss in the Lexus Melbourne Cup,” a statement read.
Moore didn’t comment in the jockeys room after the race.
Cross Counter won the Cup, the Charlie Appleby-trained stayer handing Australian jockey Kerrin McEvoy his third Cup triumph.
After turning into the straight among the tailenders, Cross Counter finished with a withering burst down the outside to record a stunning win, outlasting another UK star, Marmelo.
A Prince of Arran finished third.
— with Ben Broad
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