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Murtagh duo unplaced in Melbourne


Mutual Regard

Mutual Regard

Mutual Regard

Trainer Johnny Murtagh was out of fortune in the Emirates Melbourne Cup at Flemington after Mutual Regard and Royal Diamond had no answer to the Ryan Moore-ridden Protectionist.

Murtagh had high hopes of making his presence felt in the much coveted Grade One handicap, with his County Kildare residents having caught the eye since being shipped out to Australia.

But neither Mutual Regard nor Royal Diamond were able to trouble the judge, finishing a respective 14th and 20th behind the German-trained winner.

Royal Diamond showed up well for a long way in the hands of Steven Arnold, but he perhaps paid the price of trying to follow the keen-travelling My Ambivalent, who made most of the running but faded out of contention.

Mutual Regard, who, like Royal Diamond, is owned by Andrew Tinkler, was never really a factor under Damien Oliver as he looked to add lustre to his Ebor success at York in the summer.

Oliver said of Mutual Regard: "He moved into it nicely on the turn but he just pulled too hard and had nothing left for the finish."

Arnold felt conditions were not quite right for Royal Diamond.

He said: "He ran along at a good tempo but he felt the ground in the last 300 metres."

Winning jockey Moore said: "He's won very easily, like a very good horse. I was struggling for a position early on, but I had so much horse under me.

"I've got to thank Michelle (Moore's wife) at home because I've been away a lot. You need to win these races for it to be worthwhile. It's very special."

Trainer Andreas Wohler praised Moore's role in the Protectionist fairytale.

He said: "Ryan couldn't have the position that he'd liked to have had, but he was so patient. When they came round the last bend he just needed to have the right gap and he found it.

"He (Protectionist) quickened so well and Ryan is a superstar.

"He stays and has a nice turn of foot. We just needed a smooth run and the jockey was absolutely great. We have had great success all around the world, but this is the biggest of all. This is a moment we won't forget."

The Ed Dunlop-trained Red Cadeaux filled the runner-up spot in the race for the third time, and Dunlop said: "H e's always susceptible to a younger horse but I'm very proud.

"The way the race was run we were in front plenty soon enough for us and the winner was very good on the day. We'll have to come back again, but we'll just see how he is as he's old. However, I would like to bring him to Sydney in the autumn.

"He's just been an amazing horse, he must be the greatest bridesmaid ever."