A dream realised as Godolphin have their moment
Melbourne Cup glory
Cross Counter capped an “amazing” year for trainer Charlie Appleby and Godolphin as he became the first British-trained winner of Lexus Melbourne Cup at Flemington.
The three-year-old was delivered with a perfectly-timed run by Kerrin McEvoy to claim the Group One prize and lead home a famous one-two-three for the raiding party, with Hughie Morrison’s Marmelo a length back in second and the Charlie Fellowes-trained Prince Of Arran a further three lengths behind in third.
Cross Counter’s victory added another feather to Appleby’s cap with the trainer having sent out Masar to win the Derby at Epsom back in June in the blue silks of Godolphin.
The trainer said: “This is all down to Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, he’s the one that’s given us all the encouragement to take the chances in what we do internationally.
“When I saw him down the back, I thought he had to do a lot.
“And when he was making his run, I thought turning in that if he finds the gap then this horse has got the gears to pick up.”
Godolphin has hit the bar in the past with the likes of Give The Slip, Crime Scene and Central Park all having placed in the main event, but it is the Dubai-based stables first win since trying with Faithful Son in 1998.
He said: “We’ve been competitive, but we’ve learnt more on each trip about what will make us more competitive. That’s what it’s all about, the learning curve.
“I’m just in a fortunate position to have the horses to make the call on which are the right ones to bring down here.
“This is huge. For me, of course this is the biggest thing along with the Derby. This year has just been one of those amazing years.”
Marmelo’s trainer Hughie Morrison was thrilled with his charge’s run, but felt conceding 9lb to the winner had proved crucial.
He said: “He gave him a lovely ride. We saw Hugh (Bowman) beforehand and he said we would ride on patience and I said that will do me.
“We all mature at different times and I suspect we’re less mature than the winner.
“He’s a great horse and we will have to go away and think about it. I don’t know whether we go Cup racing next year, he’ll probably have a bit more weight this time next year. The great thing is there’s lots to discuss over the winter.
“He’s a star, he makes me cry. He’s just such a brick of a horse, he gives you his all and he’s an absolute gentleman, anybody can ride him.”
Prince Of Arran only secured his place in the race with victory in the Lexus Stakes at the track on Saturday and Fellowes was delighted with his effort.
He said: “It was an unbelievable run – I’m completely speechless. He gave him the most lovely ride.
“I think, on that ground, he possibly just got tired the last furlong or half a furlong, but he’s run huge. I can’t believe it –I’m over the moon. There was a point there I thought we might have won the Melbourne Cup.
“Charlie Appleby has done the most unbelievable job this year, huge credit to him and his team. It’s great that an English trainer has finally won this race.”
Godolphin fielded three runners in total, with Best Solution finishing eighth for Saeed bin Suroor under top weight after a tardy start.
Jockey Pat Cosgrave said: “He was slowly away and we were playing catch up after. He was too far back.”
“This year has just been one of the most amazing years” – Appleby
In form control: Cross Counter delivered with a perfectly-timed run to clinch a first Melbourne Cup for Godolphin.
Man of the moment: Kerrin McEvoy celebrates his third Melbourne Cup triumph.