Melbourne Cup Reaction

By Ciaran Taylor

Godolphin’s Cross Counter became the first ever British-Trained winner of the Melbourne Cup in the early hours of yesterday morning, leading home a historic, British one-two-three.

The Melbourne Cup is the richest handicap in the world, boasting both Group One status and an invaluable weight-for-age allowance – factors that the Godolphin operation found too good to resist.

After producing a fine effort behind stablemate, Old Persian, in the Great Voltigeur at York, Cross Counter looked set to be competitive whatever his next port of call, especially with the third (Kew Gardens) claiming the St Leger on his next start.

However, cutting his leg three weeks before the race – requiring two days ‘box-rest’, and then receiving stall 19, prompted reasonable doubt as to the chances of the talented three-year-old.

But come race-day, trainer, Charlie Appleby, had him primed and none were able to repel his devastating turn of foot.

Sluggish from gate 19, now three-time Cup winning jockey, Kerrin McEvoy dropped his mount to the rear, settling some 10 lengths off the leader, stream-lining eventual second Marmelo.

With three furlongs to go, Cross Counter came alive – making headway in behind horses before swinging widest entering the straight to mount his attack.

As A Prince of Arran loomed ‘on the bridle’ and Marmelo emerged threateningly on the rail, Cross Counter, running out of time, changed legs and quickened – sweeping past Yucatan and A Prince of Arran before running down Marmelo and asserting on run-in to register an emphatic victory.

Edited by Harry Trend

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