MELBOURNE (AFP) – Germany’s Protectionist won Australia’s biggest race, the Aus$6.2 million (US$5.4 million) Melbourne Cup, on Tuesday but the event was marred by tragedy when Japanese favourite Admire Rakti died after coming last.
Protectionist, starting at 7-1 and beautifully ridden by English jockey Ryan Moore, beat England’s Red Cadeaux (20-1) by four lengths, with New Zealand’s Who Shot Thebarman (20-1) another half-length away in third.
But there was sadness in the immediate aftermath. The well-supported Admire Rakti collapsed and died in his stall upon returning from the track.
“Our vets are on hand and the horse will undergo an autopsy,” said chief race steward Terry Bailey.
“Obviously we’ll have to await those results to find out the cause of the death.”
Admire Rakti’s death shocked Flemington as news of it emerged following Protectionist’s outstanding victory to become the sixth internationally-trained winner of Australia’s iconic race.