Jockey William Buick believes a slow start has played against Cross Counter who has finished eighth in his defence of the Melbourne Cup at Flemington.
Only four horses in the Melbourne Cup’s history have won back-to-back, with champion Makybe Diva the most recent with her three-straight successes from 2003 to 2005.
The Charlie Appleby-trained Cross Counter was striving to become the first international to win the Melbourne Cup more than once but was forced to settle further back in the 24-horse field than Buick planned after jumping away slowly.
He came from worse than midfield, carrying top weight of 57.5kg, to be beaten just over 1-1/2-lengths.
“He ran a huge race,” Buick said.
“He missed the break from drawing barrier five. I tried to get a better position than what we were in but obviously it was difficult so I couldn’t get to where I wanted to.
“He finished off his race really well.
“He didn’t get the run that he needed.”