Seventh-placed Melbourne Cup runner Araldo has been euthanised after suffering a broken pastern while being returned to scale after the $A6.2 million race.
The death of the Mike-Moroney trained stallion followed the fatal collapse of pre-race favourite Admire Rakti in his stall after race.
The two thoroughbred deaths have taken the gloss off the win by the German stallion Protectionist, who cleared out down the home straight to win the Cup by four lengths – the biggest winning margin in nearly 20 years.
Racing authorities are awaiting the results of a post mortem examination to determine the cause of death of 7-year-old Admire Rakti, who last month won the Caulfield Cup.
He was racing near the lead with 400 metres to go, but faded to the rear of the field.
The most likely cause of his death is either a ruptured major blood vessel or a heart arrhythmia.
The Japanese-owned Araldo was spooked by someone waving a flag as he was being returned for the weigh-in.
He backed up and kicked out with his right hind leg towards a low fence near the rose garden at the Flemington course. His leg got caught in the fence and it appears he broke his pastern while pulling it free.
Araldo was taken by equine ambulance to the University of Melbourne Veterinary Hospital for treatment.
He was euthanised after veterinarians determined the damage was too severe.
Racing Victoria’s head of veterinary and equine welfare, Dr Brian Stewart, said Araldo’s accident was the result of what he described as a freak accident.
“The horse received immediate veterinary care and was transported to the University of Melbourne Veterinary Hospital. However, sadly the fracture in his pastern was not repairable.
“The owners made the decision to humanely euthanise Araldo in the best interests of the horse.”