Melbourne Cup: Protectionist wins but favourite Admire Rakti dies
German horse Protectionist, for English jockey Ryan Moore, won the Melbourne Cup but favourite Admire Rakti collapsed and died after the race.
Moore guided his 7-1 chance, trained by Andreas Wohler, to a four-length win from British challenger Red Cadeaux, who was second for the third time.
New Zealand runner Who Shot Thebarman was third, but the Japanese-trained Admire Rakti faded and finished last.
The six-year-old Caulfield Cup winner collapsed returning from the track.
There were mixed emotions after the two-mile contest at Flemington Racecourse, which attracts a crowd of more than 100,000.
Admire Rakti had gone into the 154th running of the race as favourite while, in another post-race incident, seventh-placed Araldo was treated at an equine clinic after kicking out at a fence when returning to the mounting yard and injuring a hind leg.
Protectionist ran out a convincing winner for Moore, who enhanced his growing global reputation having won last month's Cox Plate in Australia with his mount Adelaide.
|BBC racing correspondent Cornelius Lysaght|
|"There can be no real doubt that Ryan Moore is the greatest jockey in the world at the moment. Aussies love to knock overseas riders, and Moore has had his fair share of stick before, but they raved when he won their Group One Cox Plate last month, and they're raving again after Protectionist stormed home. Without fuss, without unnecessary dramas, sometimes without smiling (though there were plenty at Flemington), Moore simply delivers, whether it's a Group One or a more ordinary race in his native Brighton. Meanwhile, a third runners-up spot for Britain's Red Cadeaux is agonising but also brilliant."|
"He's a very good horse with a very strong pace. Once he got the space, he was amazing," said the 31-year-old.
"Obviously it's very special. I've got to thank [wife] Michelle at home with the kids because being away a lot it's hard for her, so you need to win these races for it to be worthwhile."
Wohler paid tribute to the three-time British champion jockey, who conceded the chance of a fourth domestic title this season in favour of competing at the big international meetings.
"We have had great success all over the planet but this is the biggest of all," said the trainer, celebrating a first German triumph in the Melbourne Cup.
"[Moore] was so patient. He couldn't have the position he wanted to have but when he came around the last bend he just needed the right gap. Ryan is a superstar."
|Jockey's winning run|
|"Ryan Moore has won 19 Group One races since 1 November 2013 in eight different countries across four continents. He's different class," says Paul Struthers, chief executive of the Professional Jockeys' Association.|
Ridden much more prominently than in previous years, Red Cadeaux hit the front early in the straight, kicking clear under regular rider Gerald Mosse.
But the eight-year-old, trained by Ed Dunlop, finished second again having been beaten by a nose in 2011 and three-quarters of a length last year.
"We'll have to come back again, but we'll just see how he is as he's old. He's just been an amazing horse, he must be the greatest bridesmaid ever," said Dunlop.
Signoff was fourth, with Willing Foe in fifth place.
Jockey Zac Purton eased down the top weight Admire Rakti, trained by Tomoyuki Umeda, in the closing stages of the races. Officials said an autopsy would be carried out to establish the cause of the horse's death.
Four horses have been fatally injured in the Melbourne Cup over the past 35 years. The death last year of the Aga Khan-owned Verema, a French mare who was euthanised after suffering a serious leg injury, was the first since 1998.
Emirates Melbourne Cup full result
1 Protectionist 7-1 2 Red Cadeaux 20-1 3 Who Shot Thebarman 20-1
4 Signoff 7-1 5 Willing Foe (22 ran. Distances: 4 lengths, ½l, 1½l)
6 Precedence 7 Araldo 8 Au Revoir 9 Seismos 10 Fawkner 11 Opinion 12 Gatewood 13 Lucia Valentina 14 Mutual Regard
15 Brambles 16 Unchain My Heart 17 My Ambivalent 18 Junoob 19 Lidari 20 Royal Diamond 21 Mr O'Ceirin 22 Admire Rakti