By one reckoning the 2012 Melbourne Cup will go down as another triumph for Rest of the World over the locals.
In another sense, it will be known as a local one-two with the raiders repelled and the French favourites Dunaden and Americain well out of contention.
The truth is, horses born and bred in Ireland and England filled the first eight places, exposing Australian staying stocks for what they are.
The Cup, at least, will stand on an Australian mantelpiece thanks to Green Moon, an equine migrant who now has permanent residence in Australian owner Lloyd Williams’ stable.
But Green Moon ran his first eight races in England and only came to Australia early last year.
The Cup runner-up Fiorente will forever be marked as having been trained by Gai Waterhouse, even though the champion trainer only patted the Irish-bred, English-reared galloper for the first time on Cup day.
Fiorente arrived in Australia two weeks ago and has been in quarantine at Werribee ever since.
The first fully fledged international over the line was third-placegetter Jakkalberry who is trained in England by Italian Marco Botti.
Behind him in order came Kelinni, another Irish-bred who began his career in England, Mount Athos who is trained in England, Glencadam Gold whose background is the same, ditto Mourayan, a stablemate of the winner and Red Cadeaux who is British through and through.
The honour of being the first Aussie, sort of, to salute appropriately went to the Bart Cummings-trained Precedence, who is part-owned by an English noblewoman.
Then came another succession of visitors until Niwot, last year’s best local, struggled home in 15th place.
Most of the internationally trained runners complained of a lack of pace, notably Botti and Red Cadeaux’s trainer Ed Dunlop.
“He ran a very good race, but he probably could have done with the pace being a bit quicker,” Botti said.
Dunlop, who went so close a year earlier, said his horse’s chances had been destroyed by the dawdling speed.
“About 15 jockeys will tell you that there was no pace,” Dunlop said.
“He just couldn’t make up the ground.”
David Redvers, racing manager for Dunaden’s owners, Pearl Bloodstock, said the horse who had so bravely won the Caulfield Cup two weeks ago had everything against him.
“I’ve never seen him finish a race looking so absolutely shattered,” Redvers said.
“He won so well in the Caulfield Cup that it might have taken the edge off him.
“He’s probably got too much weight in handicaps and he’ll stick to group races from now on.”