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Trainer not giving up on Cup dream

4 min read

Written by Paul Vettise

Hughie Morrison has vowed to return to Australia for another crack at the G1 Lexus Melbourne Cup.

The Newbury trainer saddled Marmelo (GB) (Duke Of Marmalade {IRE}) to finish runner-up behind Cross Counter (GB) (Teofilo {IRE}) on Tuesday after the stayer was a beaten favourite when ninth 12 months ago.

Morrison learned a lesson from his 2017 experience when he also ran the entire in the G1 Caulfield Cup, in which he finished sixth.

He elected to forego a lead-up outing, preferring to keep Marmelo on the fresh side and it went close to snaring the big prize under top jockey Hugh Bowman.

“Second can’t be bad, we nearly had it,” Morrison said. “It was a great ride and what a horse.

“I’ll be back with something next year, I can assure you of that. This horse has run his heart out.” – Hughie Morrison.

“I’ll be back with something next year, I can assure you of that. This horse has run his heart out.”

Meanwhile, devastation turned to delight for young Newmarket conditioner Charlie Fellowes who was over the moon with his third placegetter A Prince Of Arran (GB) (Shirocco {GER}).

The 5-year-old had produced a commanding performance to win the G3 Lexus S., on Saturday on a good track, but Fellowes believed the torrential rain that fell at the beginning of Tuesday’s card had washed away their chances.

However, the ground dried sufficiently for A Prince Of Arran to finish third for rider Michael Walker after hitting the front 300 metres from home.

“It was an unbelievable run just three days after running and winning over a mile and a-half and we know this ground isn’t his cup of tea.” - Charlie Fellowes.

“It was an unbelievable run just three days after running and winning over a mile and a-half and we know this ground isn’t his cup of tea,” Fellowes said.

Zac Purton was also left to rue the rain after partnering Chris Waller’s Finche (GB ) (Frankel {GB}) into fourth.

“It was an excellent run and on a firmer track he would have been closer,” he said.

The favoured pair of Yucatan (IRE) (Galileo {IRE}) and Magic Circle (IRE) (Makfi {GB}) trailed in 11th and 16th respectively.

“We worked into a nice spot and he travelled nicely, but he just didn’t stay the two miles.” - James McDonald.

“We worked into a nice spot and he travelled nicely, but he just didn’t stay the two miles,” Yucatan’s rider James McDonald said.

Corey Brown could offer no excuses for the Ian Williams-trained Magic Circle.

“He was disappointing. We had a great run, but he had no kick at all,” he said.

The veteran and former placegetter Who Shot Thebarman (NZ) (Yamanin Vital {NZ}) finished a place behind Magic Circle.

“He’s getting on now and he didn’t let down to the best of his ability,” rider Ben Melham said.

Tragedy strikes early

While there were scenes of delirium after Cross Counter’s victory, there was desolation in the camp of the Aidan O’Brien-trained The Cliffsofmoher (IRE) (Galileo {IRE}).

The 4-year-old faltered badly near the winning post the first time and was pulled up by jockey Ryan Moore.

“It is with sadness that we confirm that The Cliffsofmoher had to be humanely euthanised after sustaining a fractured right shoulder during the running of the Melbourne Cup at Flemington,” Racing Victoria's Executive General Manager – Integrity Services Jamie Stier said.

The Cliffsofmoher prior to running in the Stella Artois Caulfield Cup

“The horse received immediate veterinary care, however it was unable to be saved due to the nature of the injury sustained.” – Jamie Stier.

“The horse received immediate veterinary care, however it was unable to be saved due to the nature of the injury sustained.

“This was an unfortunate incident that happens infrequently, with Victoria having one of the best safety records in world racing.

“Our sympathies are extended to Coolmore and the Williams family, the owners of The Cliffsofmoher, jockey Ryan Moore, trainer Aidan O’Brien and his staff who cared for the horse and are greatly saddened by their loss.”