A distinct lack of pace was blamed for the largely disappointing European showing in the Melbourne Cup, which was won by the Irish-bred Green Moon.

Only those involved with the breeding industry on each side of the Irish Sea could find cause for celebration this time around, as the winner turned out for Lambourn-based Harry Dunlop until 2010 before being transferred to veteran owner Lloyd Williams and his private trainer Robert Hickmott.

The Marco Botti-trained Jakkalberry came third, but several big overseas challengers failed to fire in the coveted Flemington handicap over two miles.

Green Moon, conversely, mastered every fraction to give jockey Brett Prebble and trainer Robert Hickmott their first Melbourne Cup.

The five-year-old gelding flashed past the long-time leader Glencadam Gold a furlong and a half from home and was not for catching.

Fiorente, another ex-British runner, stayed on for second, a length adrift of the winner.

Hong Kong-based Prebble said: "He was never going to get beat.
"It's the pinnacle of racing in Australia."

I've had some great highs here, but you don't get any higher than reaching the pinnacle.

"If he sustained the journey, nothing was going to go with him.

"It's very emotional and it's going to last for a long time."

Glencadam Gold enjoyed an uncontested lead from the outset, but initiated an admittedly humdrum gallop off which major European players like last year's respective first and second, Dunaden and Red Cadeaux, struggled to adapt.

The Luca Cumani-trained Mount Athos was perhaps the biggest casualty, however, as he flew from the rear to finish fifth under Ryan Moore.

"It's very emotional and it's going to last for a long time" - Brett Prebble

Botti was nonetheless proud of Jakkalberry, but was left to reflect on what could have been.

He said: "He ran a very good race, but he probably could have done with the pace being a bit quicker.

"He stayed on very well. It's been a fantastic adventure and I knew I'd left a bit of improvement in the horse. I had him at his best today.

"He's got an invitation for the Japan Cup and we can also think about Hong Kong, but we'll see how he comes out of this first. There's also Dubai and we'll think about coming back next year."

Ed Dunlop also felt 2011 runner-up Red Cadeaux, who stayed on for eighth, was hamstrung by a weakly-run encounter.

"About 15 jockeys will tell you that there was no pace. He had to drop in anyway, but he just couldn't make up the ground."

David Redvers, racing manager for Dunaden's owners, Pearl Bloodstock, believes the six-year-old could have been feeling the effects of a tough race in the Caulfield Cup last month as he came home in 14th place.

He 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."

Cumani echoed the thoughts of Dunlop and Botti when assessing Mount Athos' display.

He said: "Today's race was totally inconclusive because of the lack of pace.

"He was further back than we would have liked. Ryan started to move him forwards but he got bumped. He was the fastest finisher in the race."

Mount Athos' owner, Dr Marwan Koukash, said: "I'm a bit disappointed but he ran a big race. "He would have liked a better pace but he finished like a train. Hopefully we can freshen him up and come back next year."

Cumani also saddled the 10th-placed My Quest For Peace.

He said: "The other horse is not a sprinter and didn't pick up as we would have liked."

Irish challenger Galileo's Choice featured prominently under Pat Smullen but weakened into 20th place.

Trainer Dermot Weld said: "He got a lovely ride from Pat and was in a lovely position turning in. "It's just unfortunate he couldn't let himself down on that ground. We had thunder and lightning but, unfortunately, no rain.

"If we'd had a drop of rain he could have been in the first three."

Other European disappointments were the 2010 winner Americain and Godolphin's Cavalryman, who finished a respective 11th and 12th.

Cavalryman's racing manager Simon Crisford said: "He's a hold-up horse and he was never going to be suited by a race with a lack of pace."

Green Moon is owned by Lloyd Williams and his family, who were securing a fourth Melbourne Cup crown. Nick Williams, son of the victorious owner, said: "It's terrific.

"I'm so proud for all of our team at the farm.

"It's another Melbourne Cup win for 'Team Williams'."