Concerns have been raised about the condition of Melbourne Cup entrant Interpretation, after it failed to finish in the 3200m classic at Flemington.
Interpretation was one of four horses that failed to go the distance, with the other three walked across the line but not under fear of injury.
Fears were raised for Interpretation soon after the race when it was pulled up short by jockey Craig Newitt, who later declared 'He's not right, that horse'.
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Though the $51 outsider, trained by Ciaron Maher and David Eustace, was pulled up early, post-race inspections appeared to give the horse the all-clear.
— James Tzaferis (@jtzaf) November 1, 2022
It comes after Interpretation was at risk of being scratched from the Cup, having shown some signs of lameness in his off hind and near fore earlier in the week.
Maher put the issue down to a 'nail in the wrong place' saying Interpretation had responded well after having the shoe taken off and passing a subsequent vet inspection.
Soon after the race, The Age's Damien Ratcliffe reported all 22 runners appeared to have come out of the gruelling race with a clean bill of health.
So far, it appears all 23 horses have safely competed in this year’s Melbourne Cup 👍🏼 Interpretation did not finish but appears a wind issue, action looks fine according to a Maher Eustace rep. Camorra didn’t handle conditions. @theagesport
— Damien Ractliffe (@DamienRactliffe) November 1, 2022
“So far, it appears all 22 horses have safely competed in this year’s Melbourne Cup," he wrote on Twitter.
"Interpretation did not finish but appears a wind issue, action looks fine according to a Maher Eustace rep. Camorra didn’t handle conditions.”
While many were relieved to hear Interpretation was in good health, there was some criticism that he was allowed to race in the first place after pulling up lame on Monday.
Interpretation "was discovered to be lame in the near fore and off hind on Monday morning. But stewards passed Interpretation fit to start in today’s Cup" - yeah he was so fit he couldn't even finish the race#NupToTheCup pic.twitter.com/9cvb2V5Bph
— Susan Metcalfe (@susanamet) November 1, 2022
All horses have returned safely post Melbourne Cup, will undergo customary vet inspections. Despite previous media reporting, only Interpretation did not finish the race but stable reports to be ok. @Racing
— Paul Tatnell (@PaulTatnell) November 1, 2022
Great to know the jockeys pulled them up when they couldn’t handle it.
— Dr Liz Burke (@LizAgnes) November 1, 2022
Camorra jockey Ben Melham said the six-year-old simply hadn't responded well to the wet conditions on track, but was otherwise fine.
It was a different story for Numerian, who finished 73 lengths behind the winner after being 'deleted' on the straight according to jockey Tommy Berry, while Serpentine had a difficult time backing up from the Lexus Archer Stakes last weekend.
The last equine fatality during the running of the Melbourne Cup came in 2020, when Irish stallion Anthony Van Dyck had to be euthanised.
That fatality prompted a raft of increased medical screening for each horse, including CT scans which this year led to the scratchings of two different entrants.
Gold Trip wins Melbourne Cup for Ciaron Maher and David Eustace
In a triumph for spring perseverance, Gold Trip defeated Emissary and stablemate High Emocean in Australia's greatest race.
Gold Trip made light of his 57.5kg under jockey Mark Zahra, revelling in the soft ground to provide co-trainers Ciaron Maher and David Eustace with a Melbourne Cup breakthrough.
Maher and Eustace are renowned for employing a sports science slant to their training methods, using data and technology to fine-tune a team of thoroughbreds that is spread across multiple Victorian stables and a satellite operation in Sydney.
The training partnership had five runners in the race.
"They're the best trainers of stayers," Zahra said.
"That's one thing I had confidence in - their training. Because I was quite vocal I didn't think he'd get the distance."
In the end, Gold Trip's victory was built more on home-straight courage than any analytics.
Of all the Melbourne Cup runners, none has been as busy during the spring as Gold Trip.
It is rare for the modern-day thoroughbred to contest the Caulfield Cup, Cox Plate and Melbourne Cup in one campaign.
But in a throwback to another era, Gold Trip went agonisingly close to winning the Caulfield Cup before taking his place against the elite in the Cox Plate and finishing unplaced.
"This horse is quite dicey and he's done a fantastic job. And to run in three of the big ones and have him present in the Cup like that was fantastic," Maher said.
Gold Trip delivered for only the second win of his career and his first in Australia.
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