Melbourne Cup success for Godolphin

Cross Counter became the first British-trained winner of 'the race that stops a nation' with victory at Flemington

Cross Counter (red cap) and Kerrin McEvoy win the Melbourne Cup at Flemington – Photo: Bronwen Healy

Godolphin’s wonderful season continued on Tuesday thanks to the Charlie Appleby-trained Cross Counter providing Sheikh Mohammed’s global operation with a historic first success in the Group 1 Melbourne Cup at Flemington.

The victory was also the first for a British-trained runner in ‘the race that stops a nation’, 25 years after the Dermot Weld-trained Vintage Crop became the maiden international winner of the event.

It was another European raider, the Charlie Fellowes-trained A Prince Of Arran, who travelled strongly into the home straight before being sent for home by his jockey, Michael Walker.

But as quickly as he hit the front, Hughie Morrison’s Marmelo flew past him to take the lead and look destined to land the spoils. Yet Cross Counter and Kerrin McEvoy, who had been right at the rear of the 24-runner field, were making up ground hand-over-fist out wide and swooped past to score by a length.

It was a fabulous race for British-trained runners, with the Deepwood Farm Stud-bred Marmelo and A Prince Of Arran finishing second and third. The British-bred Finche, a daughter of Frankel now trained by Chris Waller, filled fourth place.

A homebred for Godolphin, Cross Counter is the second foal out of the Listed-placed Kingmambo mare Waitress, and a half-brother to the dual-winning Cape Cross filly, Right Direction.

This family traces all the way back to the Secreto mare Rahaam, whose progeny included the King’s Stand Stakes winner Cassandra Go – the dam of Group 1 winner Halfway To Heaven – and Verglas, winner of the Coventry Stakes.

Cross Counter becomes the 15th Group 1 winner to be supplied by Darley shuttle sire Teofilo, who is well known in Australia thanks to the exploits of his sons Happy Clapper, Humidor, Palentino and Kermadec.

In Britain, Teofilo’s top performers include Irish Derby scorer Trading Leather, Ajman Princess, Pleascach, Havana Gold and Loch Garman. The son of Galileo will stand at Kildangan Stud in 2019 at an unchanged fee of €40,000.

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