The brilliant Melbourne Cup victory by the German-trained stayer Protectionist was overshadowed by the post-race deaths of two horses.
The Japanese top-weight and favourite Admire Rakti, which had won the Caulfield Cup, collapsed and died in his stall after finishing a long last, and the seventh-placegetter Araldo, trained by New Zealander Mike Moroney, had to be put down after injuring a hind leg in a freak accident after the race.
Araldo was spooked on his way back to the mounting yard, kicking out at a fence and injuring the limb when a spectator waved a flag at him.
Racing Victoria's chief steward Terry Bailey says they'll have to wait for the results of an autopsy on Admire Rakti for the cause of death.
The $7 million race was was won by German horse Protectionist.
Red Cadeaux was second for the third time while the New Zealand owned Auckland Cup winner Who Shot The Barman was third.
Reports have also emerged that the horse Araldo, which finished seventh, broke the cannon bone in its leg after taking fright from a flag and jumping a steel rail.
Last year at the Melbourne Cup, the horse Verema was put down after breaking it's cannon bone during the race.
Protectionist timed his finishing burst to perfection to win the 154th running of the Cup.
Ridden by Ryan Moore, the five-year-old stayer was boxed in for much of the race but stormed down the final straight after finding a gap to give Germany its first winner of the gruelling 3200 metre handicap by two lengths.
Red Cadeaux was second for the third time in Australia's biggest race, while New Zealand-trained Who Shot Thebarman came in third.
"He's very easy," Englishman Moore says of the 7-1 shot. "Very good horse with very strong pace. Once he got the space, he's amazing."
Protectionist's success was the third for a European horse in the last five years after Americain won in 2010 and Dunaden triumphed a year later.
"We have had great success all over the planet but this is the biggest of all," says trainer Andreas Wohler.
"(Moore) was so patient, he couldn't have the position he wanted to have but he was so patient and when he came around the last bend he just needed the right gap. Ryan is a superstar.
"It's unbelievable. Later when we think about it, it's a moment in your life that you won't forget."