EARLIER: FEARS are growing for the future of The Cliffsofmoher after the Aidan O'Brien-trained galloper was forced to exit midway through the Melbourne Cup.
Trainer Adrian O'Brien told the Herald Sun things did not "look good" for the horse after the race.
And when he did, the relatively inexperienced Cross Counter rounded up a field of seasoned stayers and ran away from them to win by a length from Marmelo, with A Prince Of Arran in third place.
"This is a race we have been trying to win for years and I'm just fortunate to turn up with the right horse".
"I wasn't sure at first we were going to run down the third horse (A Prince Of Arran) and then when we went past him I just saw the red cap (of Cross Counter) coming", he said.
"Charlie was travelling head lad when I was with Godolphin in the United Kingdom and we used to head up to all the Northern tracks a lot of the time".
Irish horse The Cliffsofmoher, which placed in the Caulfield Cup, suffered a fractured right shoulder as he passed the finish line for the first time and was put down on the track.
Kerrin McEvoy claimed a third Melbourne Cup on Tuesday afternoon as Cross Counter charged down the Flemington straight to win Australia's great race. Pre-race favourite Yucatan came 11th.
The Godolphin stable, owned by uber-wealthy Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed, finally broke their Melbourne Cup drought.
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McEvoy's win on the 9-1 shot followed his Melbourne Cup triumphs on Almandin in 2016 and Brew in 2000.
"I always thought he was the horse to worry about".
The Cliffsofmoher is one of more than 100 horses killed on Australian racetracks each year.
English trainer Charlie Appleby was full of praise for McEvoy's ride.
"I promised (my four kids) a swimming pool".
Cross Counter, ridden by Kerrin McEvoy, led a British 1-2-3 in the 158th running of the Flemington contest. "And (wife) Cathy and myself have been looking around for a bigger house. and I said to one of the reporters yesterday that if I won I would buy Cathy a new house, so look out", said McEvoy.
"You have all these aspirations and five years ago when I was lucky enough to get the licence people asked me what are the two races you'd like to win for Godolphin and thankfully I've just knocked the second one out", reflected Appleby.
Victoria Racing Club chairwoman Amanda Elliot paid tribute to the persistence of Sheikh Mohammed, who is also the Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates.
It's the first time an England-trained horse has won the Cup, with Charlie Appleby winning after several attempts.
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