Melbourne Cup Day 2014 - rolling coverage

 Darren Weir walks the track with Joao Moreira before the Melbourne Cup. Photo: Getty Images

Darren Weir walks the track with Joao Moreira before the Melbourne Cup. Photo: Getty Images

Melbourne Cup Day. TIM O'CONNOR was trackside for The Courier throughout the day.

TRAGIC aftermath to the Melbourne Cup.

Japan's Caulfield Cup winner Admire Rakti has collapsed and died after finishing last.

DARREN Weir is sure to be wrapt with Signoff's effort. Ridden superbly to loom up with Red Cadeaux with 400m to run. 

Australian Thoroughbred Bloodstock-race Seismos lost his chance when slow out from gate one and settled next to last. Finished on extremely well to get ninth. 

 THE Melbourne Spring Carnival big three have gone to overseas raiders:

Caulfield Cup - Admire Rakti (Japan)

Cox Plate - Adelaide (Ireland)

and now the Melbourne Cup to Protectionist (Germany) with Irish jockey Ryan Moore.


2 -  RED CADEAUX (second for a third time in four starts in the Cup)


and Signoff a gallant fourth for Darren Weir.

REPORT from the scales:  Joao Moreira weighs out 0.6kg over for Signoff 

WE are well and truly into Melbourne Cup countdown mode now. Just 45 minutes before the barriers open and that famous cheer goes up.  

THE Dan O'Sullivan-trained Tuscan Fire knows all about big race days. He contested last year's Caulfield Cup. Today though he is in a support event to be run after the Melbourne Cup.

Tim O'Connor caught up with Signoff's trainer Darren Weir at Flemington for the last word.

CAN Robert Smerdon turn around the fortunes of Ballarat stables at Flemington in the upcoming fifth event?Smerdon's Caulfield/Ballarat operation has two runners - Ms Mazetti and Empress O'Reilly in the 3yo dash down the straight. Smerdon went close in the first with 2yo first-starter Thurlow an close second.  Henry Dwyer, who also uses Ballarat training complex in support of his Caulfield base also has unbeaten Luxembourg engaged.

THE Courier's Tim O'Connor reports that there is plenty of interest at Flemington in Signoff. Darren Weir's mother Noelene, and his nephew and young racecaller Dayne Barry amongst the crowd.

SIGNOFF is on track. Looks relaxed. In less than three hours he'll be putting it all on the line.   

SEISMOS has arrive on track for Australian Thoroughbred Bloodstock in reading for the Cup. Good luck to the big group of owners including  Ballarat's Queens Head Hotel and North Ballarat City football syndicates.

What the Premier's and Opposition Leader's tips for the big one?

THE twittersphere is going crazy worldwide for the Melbourne Cup.

SUPPORT from Venezuela for Signoff

OH so close. Young Ballarat trainer Archie Alexander just misses out in Visit Victoria Plate, 2800m, with international Renew getting pipped on the line by Chris Waller's Grand Marshal.  Ironically, Renew is set to be trained by Waller for OTI Racing. Ballarat stay obviously done the trick to get Renew back on track at third Aussie start. 

Prime spot for the day ahead.

This is the stall which will be focus for Ballarat in the final countdown to the Melbourne Cup.

Here's another perspective all together.

Signoff getting the thumbs up from many of the form analysts.

This is what the Melbourne Cup is all about. It doesn't matter how much you put on your tip. It's all about trying to find the winner

The support for Signoff keeps growing.

Even the Prime Minister is on board.