Betting agencies go down an hour before Melbourne Cup

This year's Melbourne Cup field has been locked in  Image Getty

"His Highness could see a trend developing where young improving stayers from Europe would be ideally suited by the Melbourne Cup, and Cross Counter fitted that description perfectly", Appleby said a day after the triumph.

"I'm just in the very fortunate position to have a great team behind me".

Morrison admitted it was only for a split second that he thought Marmelo might have been going to win when he made his charge closest to the inside.

THE 2018 Melbourne Cup is fast becoming the most hard year on record to pick a victor with a host of popular online bookmakers crashing just an hour out from the race.

"For me, it is a very special to be here, but like I say, for a team it is just fantastic for everybody".

"The time difference has meant a lot of punters' activity has come through later in the morning and has been skewed towards the outsiders", the agency's Ella Zampatti said.

The death of Irish stayer The Cliffsofmoher cast a pall over the Melbourne Cup on Tuesday, angering animal rights groups and shining the spotlight on the safety record of Australia's most prestigious race meeting.

For jockey Kerrin McEvoy, it is his third Melbourne Cup, and he becomes the first jockey to complete the Everest-Cup double.

It was also first win for Godolphin, the mega-stable founded by the Vice President of the UAE and Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

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Yucatan started favourite in the race at 5-1 after drifting to 7-1 following the barrier draw that saw him jump from gate 23.

"It's such a huge thrill to win this for Sheikh Mohammed, to repay the faith that he showed in me", McEvoy said.

"That's what it's all about, the learning curve. It's a dream. It has just been one of those awesome years".

Their respect was such that Australian-born McEvoy, the 2004 St Leger-winning rider on Rule Of Law, was the obvious choice to partner the late maturing Cross Counter to a historic win as William Buick, Appleby's No 1 rider, could not make the light weight.

"I did promise (the kids) a swimming pool".

"This is the one goal, we want to tick this box and win our grand final".

The most catastrophic year for the race was 2014, when six-year-old Japanese thoroughbred Admire Rakti collapsed straight after the Melbourne Cup and died in its stall, while Araldo broke his leg on a fence after taking fright and was euthanased.

That's because of increasing attention being given to The Everest in mid-October.

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