Godolphin runner Cross Counter wins 2018 Melbourne Cup

Cross Counter trains at Werribee. Photo: Getty
Cross Counter trains at Werribee. Photo: Getty

CROSS Counter has won the 2018 Melbourne Cup, in a race marred by the death of Irish galloper The Cliffsofmoher, which was injured inside the first 600m.

Cross Counter’s win was the first Cup triumph for the famed Godolphin stable, who had never won Australia’s greatest race in more than 20 attempts.

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.

The Cliffsofmoher was put down after suffering a fractured right shoulder.

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

In a statement the RSPCA said there was a growing number of Australians who felt uncomfortable watching horse racing.

“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,” RSPCA Australia spokesperson Jane Speechley said.

“RSPCA Australia has long voiced its concerns about the welfare of racehorses, including the use of inhumane devices such as whips and tongue ties, as well as the risk to injury and death during races.

“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.

“Whilst it’s important to acknowledge the death of The Cliffsofmoher, it is equally as important to be aware of the pain and distress experienced by other runners, who have survived the Melbourne Cup today,

“In that field alone, horses were hit with whips several hundred times at least, with the highest number of hits occurring in the final 100 metres, when they are already tired.

“We’re seeing a growing number of Australians who feel uncomfortable about watching horse racing, and tragic incidents like these provide a catalyst for that concern.”