Melbourne Cup trainer Charlie Fellowes has engaged in a fiery war of words on Twitter after being criticised over the controversy surrounding his charge, Prince of Arran.
Fellowes' horse finished third across the line but was bumped up to second as a result of the protest that saw Master of Reality slide down to fourth.
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However, Prince of Arran's second place finish was overshadowed by a hefty penalty to jockey Michael Walker for excessive whipping.
Walker has been suspended for seven meetings and fined $10,000 for breaching the whip rule, having used it 12 times before the 100m mark.
That is seven times more than regulations permit.
The jockey and the horse's trainer came under fire from viewers after the race, including NSW Greens senator Mehreen Faruqi, who shamed them over the "needless suffering" of the horse.
Fellowes labelled the criticism "embarrassing" and went on to insist that his horses were treated better than most domestic pets.
However, it was another Twitter user's suggestion that race horses are killed if they are not fast enough, that really left the experienced trainer incensed.
Horrified to hear Prince Of Arran was whipped to the point that jockey Michael Walker received a seven-meeting ban and $10,000 fine (but still received $55,000 in prize money).— Mehreen Faruqi (@MehreenFaruqi) November 5, 2019
When animals and gambling mix, animals always suffer. https://t.co/jqF9QqHZeo
Your lack of knowledge on horse racing is embarrassing. come to werribee tomorrow and I will personally introduce you to Prince of Arran. You will quickly realise that he is not abused, in pain, or suffering. Like every horse in my stable he is loved more than any household pet— Charlie Fellowes (@FellowesRacing) November 5, 2019
Slow horses are killed. Horses that no longer can win races are killed. All to save costs. Horse racing must be banned. We won’t stop until it is banned. However long it takes.— Fair Dinkum (@FairDinkumMate1) November 5, 2019
You are a moron. I have never ever killed a slow horse or a horse that stops winning. We re-home all of our retired racehorses. In fact I have two horses being retired this week that are going to wonderful life long homes. Why would you kill such amazing animals?— Charlie Fellowes (@FellowesRacing) November 5, 2019
Walker's excessive whipping punishment came after Racing Victoria texted all jockeys before the race, warning them that severe penalties would be handed down to anyone in breach of the rules.
The 35-year-old - who was also pinged for the same offence last year - was at a loss to explain himself after the race.
"I had thoughts of winning the Melbourne Cup," Walker told stewards.
"I lost my style, I lost my balance and I lost my mind."
Dettori also handed significant penalty
Globe-trotting jockey Frankie Dettori’s race went from bad to worse despite crossing the line second in the Melbourne Cup.
Dettori partnered the Lloyd and Nick Williams-owned, Joseph O'Brien-trained Master Of Reality who was beaten by a head by Vow And And Declare in Tuesday's race.
It was the third time in 17 Melbourne Cup appearances Dettori had been second across the line following Central Park in 1999 and Max Dynamite in 2015.
"I feel like crying," Dettori said.
Things got worse for Dettori when a stewards' protest was lodged on behalf of the connections of fourth placegetter, Il Paradisio ridden by Wayne Lordan, against Dettori resulting in Master Of Reality being relegated to fourth.
At a subsequent stewards inquiry, Dettori pleaded guilty to a careless riding charge, deemed in the low range, and suspended for nine meetings.
Dettori will begin the ban immediately and will have to delay the start of a four-week contract to ride in Japan.