Irish trainer Tony Martin has praised the brave performance of Heartbreak City who went agonisingly close to winning the Melbourne Cup at his first start in Australia.
Ridden by Hong Kong-based Joao Moreira, Heartbreak City was beaten a long head by Almandin in Tuesday’s race at Flemington.
“It’s agonising to be chinned that little, but what a performance,” Martin said.
“I couldn’t be any prouder of the horse.
“To be so close, it was a magic performance all round.
“Hopefully we’ll be back next year.”
Martin said what he wanted to see from Moreira was for Heartbreak City to avoid any bad luck.
He said there was plenty of speed but possibly in the final stages Heartbreak City had failed to see out the journey.
“I thought we were there in the straight,” Martin said.
“He fought the other horse off once but couldn’t do it a second time.
“There was plenty of speed. We wouldn’t want to be going any further in a race like that, maybe back a furlong or two, in hindsight.”
Martin said the ownership group had thoroughly enjoyed their first Melbourne Cup but there was one person missing, George Swan, who bought into Heartbreak City after Martin claimed the horse in France.
Swan was diagnosed with cancer in August last year before dying three months later.
“There’s only one man that I’m unhappy for and that’s the man looking down, George Swan,” Martin said.