Godolphin stops the Nation
The Charlie Appleby trained Cross Counter takes Australia by storm winning The Melbourne Cup under Kerrin McEvoy, giving Godolphin and HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, their first ever triumph in the race.
The Teofilo gelding made his debut as a two year old winning two minor races in Wolverhampton on all-weather before being gelded and returning in June 2018, starting off his three year old campaign finishing second to Elwazir in a Novice Stakes in Sandown.
Cross Counter eventually won his first Group 3 race in August at Glorious Goodwood under William Buick in the Qatar Gordon Stakes, beating Dee Ex Bee trained by Mark Johnston by a decent 4 1/2 lengths. Yet did not manage to claim victory at York in the Great Voltigeur Stakes Group 2 when stable mate Old Persian and James Doyle beat them by a head. Little did we know this impressive Group 3 winning three year old would win 'The race that stops the Nation' in just two months time. Racing supporters world-wide were left astonished as Team Godolphin asserted their dominance down under, even after heavy rainfall just three hours before the race, giving Cross Counter his first Group 1 victory, in the first Group 1 he had ever competed in but gave jockey Kerrin McEvoy his third Melbourne Cup.
Group 1 Caulfield Cup winner Best Solution ridden by Patrick Cosgrave missed the break by a disappointing eight lengths, clearing all opportunity for him to get a decent finishing placement.
Thoughts are with all connections to the Aiden O'Brien trained Cliffsofmoher, who had to be put down after suffering a fractured shoulder, 600m after jumping out of the gates.
Charlie Appleby reveals it is possible that Cross Counter will be aimed to compete in the Dubai Gold Cup on World Cup night, hopefully runs a prep race on Super Saturday yet nothing promised as his main priority is to winter well before returning to England for his next summer campaign