Published: Wed, November 07, 2018

Punter's incredible $500,000 Melbourne Cup payday

Punter's incredible $500,000 Melbourne Cup payday

Sheets and a tent were immediately put up to protect the horse and the tragic scene from shocked spectators, with some sharing photos online following the tragedy.

English stayer Cross Counter, ridden by Kerrin McEvoy, gave Dubai-based Godolphin stable its first Melbourne Cup with victory in Australia's largest and most prestigious horse race on Tuesday.

Trained by Charlie Appleby and ridden by Kerrin McEvoy, Cross Counter crossed the line clear of Marmelo in second place and A Prince of Arran in third.

In a statement, RSPCA Australia spokesperson Jane Speechley said: "Our thoughts are with animal lovers across the country who have been affected by this loss, and confronted by the very real risks posed by racing to the horses involved".

Starting a $9 chance, Cross Counter settled in the second half of the field but producing a stirring finish to overhaul Marmelo ($12) who was initially being hailed the victor for Hugh Bowman.

The Irish four-year-old was a 20/1 outsider for the Melbourne Cup and rounded the bend into the home straight midway through the pack.

The horse was the sixth to die as a result of the Melbourne Cup since 2013.

"We thought we almost had it, as I assume Charlie (Appleby) did".

The race was marred when the Aidan O'Brien-trained The Cliffsofmoher broke down at the winning post the first time around, breaking its right shoulder.

Before the race, The Cliffsofmoher was "sweating up", which can sometimes be an indication a horse is in distress.

"We were lucky to get through, said McEvoy, who won the Melbourne Cup for the third time".

Cross Counter's win in Tuesday's $7.3 million race fulfilled the long-coveted Cup dream of one of the world's richest men. He's the one who's encouraged us to take the chances in what we do internationally.

The Cup victory notched up 30 Group One wins for Godolphin worldwide in 2018.

"We have campaigned over here the last three years now and have been competitive but we have always learnt each trip what horse we felt was going to be needed on the big day".

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