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Protectionist ‘burgles’ 2014 Melbourne Cup

Getty

Getty

The international raid of Australia’s biggest spring races continued on Tuesday with German stayer Protectionist claiming the 154th Melbourne Cup in stunning fashion.

But the race was marred by the tragic news that Japanese favourite Admire Rakti, the Caulfield Cup winner, collapsed in his stall and died after finishing last.

Protectionist was ridden to perfection by one of England’s finest jockeys, Ryan Moore, who won the Cox Plate aboard Adelaide.

“He’s won very easy, that’s a very good horse,” Moore said of Protectionist.

“Obviously it’s very special.”

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In claiming victory, he became the fifth northern hemisphere-trained horse to win the race since Vintage Crop saluted in 1993.

It won from veteran English warrior Red Cadeaux, which has now chalked up the remarkable record of having come second in the race three times from four starts, including in 2011 and 2013.

Red Cadeaux, ridden by French jockey Gerald Mosse, would have become the first nine-year-old to win the race, but was no match for Protectionist’s burst of speed.

Andreas Wohler (L) and jockey Ryan Moore.

Andreas Wohler (L) and jockey Ryan Moore after winning the 2014 Melbourne Cup. Photo: Getty

Local honour was salvaged by the Chris Waller-trained Who Shot Thebarman, who ran third with Glenn Boss aboard after making ground along the inside to just hold out Signoff on the post.

It was the fastest race since Media Puzzle won in 2002.

Protectionist’s owner Christoph Berglar was humble in victory and paid tribute to Moore and the horse’s trainer, Andreas Wohler.

“God bless you all. God bless Victoria racing,” Berglar told the massive Flemington crowd.

The five-year-old Protectionist is part-owned by Australian Bloodstock, the syndicator which raced the 2011 Melbourne Cup placegetter Lucas Cranach.

Starting at $8, Protectionist cleared out to win by four lengths from Red Cadeaux ($21) with Who Shot Thebarman ($21) a half-length away in third.

“We’ve had great success all over the world but that’s the biggest of all,” Wohler said.

“When he came round the last bend, I tell he just needs to have the right gap and he found it and he quickened so well. Ryan is a superstar.

“It’s unbelievable. It’s a moment you won’t forget in your life. It’s a big achievement from our team.”

Admire Rakti was the $5.50 favourite and finished last of the 22 runners.

Warm weather drew an estimated 100,000 people to the track for the $6.2 million race.

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