Centrebet Racing

A tribute to the horse that died in Melbourne Cup 2018

Cliffs of moher the horse that died in Melbourne cup

Horse racing pride are the horses that make many a millionaire. This year 2018 Melbourne cup was won by Cross Counter a four year old gelding male horse ridden by jockey Kerrin McEvoy and trained by Charlie Appleby. Cross Counter made Great Britain win the Melbourne Cup.  But there was another horse who had to lose his life in Melbourne cup. Before we pay a tribute to him first let’s know brief about the winning horse.

Cross Counter

Cross Counter

Cross Counter was born on 5 April 2015 and is a Thoroughbred racehorse and after winning two minor races he was gelded before returning in the summer of 2018 to win two more races including the Gordon Stakes as well as finishing second in the Great Voltigeur Stakes and fourth in the King George V Stakes. In autumn he was sent to Australia and on 6 November he became the first British-trained horse to win the Melbourne Cup.

Cross Counter is a bay gelding with a large white star bred and owned by Sheikh Mohammed’s Godolphin organisation. On 14 September Cross Counter was one of 27 British horses to enter quarantine preparatory to being flown to Australia for the prestigious Spring Carnival meeting.  After arriving in Melbourne on 29 September and emerging from quarantine two weeks later the Godolphin contingent showed excellent form: Best Solution won the Caulfield Cup, while Benbatl won the Caulfield Stakes before running second to the great mare Winx in the Cox Plate.


Cliffsofmoher horse that died

Cross counter has all praises now for being a winner and a wonderful horse. But there are many horses that do not make up to the winning line or if they do make up are injured or dead.

Here we bring to you a tribute to the Cliffsofmoher horse, who may have gone unnoticed by many punters but was  euthanised on track after sustaining injury during Melbourne cup race.

Cliffs of Moher was a young horse born on 2 March 2014 called The Cliffsofmoher when racing in Australia, was an Irish Thoroughbred racehorse. As a three-year-old he won the Dee Stakes and finished second in the 2017 Epsom Derby. Cliffs of Moher was euthanised after breaking his shoulder in the running of the 2018 Melbourne Cup at Flemington Racecourse on 6 November 2018.

Cliffs of Moher was a bay colt bred in Ireland by the Wave Syndicate, a breeding company associated with the Coolmore Stud organisation. The colt was sent into training with Aidan O’Brien at Ballydoyle. Like many Coolmore horses, the official details of his ownership changed from race to race: He had sometimes been listed as being the property of Susan Magnier, while on other occasions he was described as being owned by a partnership of M. Jooste, Derrick Smith, Michael Tabor and Susan Magnier.


He was sired by Galileo, who won the Derby, Irish Derby and King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes in 2001. Galileo is now one of the world’s leading stallions and has been champion sire of Great Britain and Ireland eight times so far. Cliffs of Moher was the first foal produced by his dam Wave who showed modest racing ability, winning one minor race from four starts. Wave’s dam, Queen Cleopatra, finished third in both the Irish 1,000 Guineas and the Prix de Diane and was a full-sister to Henrythenavigator.

Cliffs of Moher made his racecourse debut in a seven furlong maiden race at Cork Racecourse on 15 October 2016 in which he was ridden by his trainer’s son Donnacha O’Brien.

On his first appearance as a three-year-old, Cliffs of Moher was sent to England to contest the Dee Stakes (a trial race for The Derby) over ten and a half furlongs at Chester Racecourse on 12 May 2017. He was ridden by Ryan Moore and started the 4/5 favourite against seven opponents headed by the Michael Stoute-trained Mirage Dancer. He was amongst the leaders from the start, took the lead a furlong out and won by one and a half lengths from the Godolphin representative Bay of Poets.

On 3 June Cliffs of Moher was one of six Ballydoyle runners in an eighteen-runner field for the 238th running of the Epsom Derby and started the 5/1 second favourite after being selected by the stable’s top jockey Ryan Moore. After being restrained towards the rear of the field, he made rapid progress on the outside in the straight.

cliffsof moher the Melbourne cup horse

Cliffs of Moher was sent to race in Australia in October 2018.  The Cliffsofmoher broke down during the 2018 Melbourne Cup, reportedly breaking his right shoulder, and was subsequently put down.

The Cliffsofmoher suffered its injury early in the race and quickly fell behind the field, failing to finish. As the remaining 23 horses passed the post, The Cliffsofmoher received medical attention before vets determined it was “unable to be saved”.

The news sparked an instant and angry reaction from animal welfare organisations and protesters alike.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) released a statement demanding an investigation into the death of The Cliffsofmoher. The statement read “He’s the latest in a long line of dead horses. Cliffsofmoher was spotted looking very agitated moments before the start and has now been killed after fracturing his right shoulder in the Melbourne Cup.”

“Before they’ve even finished maturing, these 500-kilogram animals are forced to race at breakneck speeds while being whipped and pushed past their limits, supported on ankles as small as those of humans.

Horses die at lower-profile racing events all the time: during the last racing year 119 were pronounced dead on Australian tracks between August 2017 and July 2018 — that’s one animal every three days. They die of cardiac arrest, haemorrhaging, ruptured aortas, and broken necks, legs, or pelvises, and that’s without mentioning the thousands of horses bred for the industry who don’t make the grade and are abandoned, neglected, or sent to slaughter.

Considering Australians hate cruelty to animals, commemorating a day on which horses routinely die in the Melbourne Cup is fundamentally un-Australian. While public holidays give Aussies a break, horses are breaking legs.

The Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses followed suit in a Facebook post.

“As only a five-year-old, [The Cliffsofmoher] had won $1.7 million for his owners. Today he broke his shoulder in the Melbourne Cup and was killed on the track,” the post read.

Other horses that aren’t remembered now

The Cliffsofmoher is the latest horse to have died on Melbourne Cup day in recent years, joining Verema (euthanased on track in 2013), Admire Rakti (suffered a heart attack in his stall in 2014), Araldo (euthanased after breaking his leg post-race in 2014), Red Cadeaux (euthanased two weeks after falling in 2015) and Regal Monarch (euthanased after a fall in Race Four of 2017). This puts a big question mark on us whether we love to be millionaires at the stake of these innocent living beings who get nothing out of these horse races except death.

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