2023 News

November 9, 2023


Breakup finishes 16th in Melbourne Cup

Breakup’s Grade 1 Lexus Melbourne Cup challenge fell short as the Japanese horse came up way short on Tuesday at Flemington.

The Tatsuya Yoshioka-trained 5-year-old, by Novellist from Little Jun, placed a distant 16th out of the 23 runners, finishing more than 14 seconds off the winning time of Without a Fight (3 minutes, 18.37 seconds over the 3,200 meters) – who had also won the 2,400-meter Caulfield Cup on October 21.

Breakup was attempting to become the first horse from Japan to lift the 3,200m Melbourne Cup in 17 years, when Delta Blues capped a Japanese one-two with Pop Rock.

Yoshioka said the different vibe at the racecourse as well as the long wait at the stalls did not help Breakup, under Kohei Matsuyama this time. For the Caulfield Cup in which Breakup finished eighth, homegrown rider Damian Lane was in the saddle.

“He certainly didn’t get off to the start he wanted to, but he also didn’t seem to be as aggressive as he usually is heading into the first turn,” Yoshioka said.

“The jockey said he felt like the atmosphere was getting to him at the gate. At the end of the day, he just could not run like he runs in Japan. His positioning wasn’t too bad considering how the race unfolded but he virtually had nothing to offer with still 1,000m to go.

“Breakup was far from his best. We need to break down what went wrong.”

Breakup departed from gate No. 18 for the two-mile journey – but not particularly well. He fell to the back as the pack sprawled out and struggled to switch gears when the pace picked up.

On the straight for home, Breakup could not find a clear path to the finish and never had a moment. He first started on the outside but then was forced back in, unable to quicken as needed, his Australian campaign coming to an end on a down note.

Matsuyama, in a nutshell, said it simply was not Breakup’s day.

“I was given an opportunity to ride on this fantastic stage but I am frustrated more than anything, unable to produce the result we were hoping for,” said the 33-year-old.

“We drew an outside barrier – and I mean way out - and were made to wait at the start. After that he couldn’t break like we were hoping for and couldn’t grab the position we were hoping for.

“Being honest, I simply couldn’t get the best out of Breakup.”

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