Godolphin star Cross Counter heads Melbourne Cup entries

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • Mail
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • WhatsApp
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn

Godolphin‘s Cross Counter heads a strong British entry for this year’s Lexus Melbourne Cup at Flemington on November 5.

Charlie Appleby’s runner made history when becoming the first British-trained horse to win the two-mile prize last year, leading home a one-two-three for the raiding party as Marmelo finished second for Hughie Morrison while the Charlie Fellowes-trained Prince Of Arran was third.

All three are in the mix for the Group One event again, with a total of 16 entries from Britain including a second string for Appleby in Ispolini.

Martyn Meade’s Technician and the Andrew Balding-trained Dashing Willoughby are a couple of leading hopes for the St Leger who have been given the option, along with a clutch of runners from last week’s Ebor at York.

Mustajeer has now switched to the care of Australian handler Kris Lees after winning on the Knavesmire for Ger Lyons and that form is strongly represented with the five that followed him home – Red Galileo, Desert Skyline, Raymond Tusk, Barsanti and True Self – all entered.

Raheen House (ninth) and Red Verdon (14th) also feature, with Ian Williams’ Gold Mount another notable contender.

Joseph O’Brien won the race with Rekindling in 2017 and he has five contenders this time, including Buckhurst and Master Of Reality while his father Aidan has 11, including Leger possibles Il Paradiso and Constantinople.

Last year’s Doncaster hero Kew Gardens is also in the reckoning along with the admirable Magic Wand, who finished second in the Arlington Million last time out.

Dermot Weld twice won the race and he has Stivers, an ex-Argentinian horse who has yet to race for him, while Torcedor is an intriguing entry for Andreas Wohler after being prevented from travelling by a temperature last year.

Local hopes are headed by Finche and Rostropovich, who finished fourth and fifth last year, along with Shraaoh, Surprise Baby and Sixties Groove among a total entry of 152.

A handful of the European raiders are also entered in the Stella Artois Caulfield Cup over 12 furlongs on October 19.

A total of 143 nominations includes the likes of Technician, Prince Of Arran, Raheen House and Magic Wand, with Balding’s Pivoine another possible runner.

“There is great depth among the entries and it will be a challenge to secure a place in both races,” said Greg Carpenter, Racing Victoria’s executive general manager of racing.

“It’s great to see Cross Counter given his chance to become the first dual international winner of the Melbourne Cup and those horses that finished second through seventh behind him last year being given their chance to atone.

“The Caulfield and Melbourne Cups are Australia’s premier staying races, so it’s equally pleasing to see so many Derby, Oaks and interstate Cup winners among the entries for both races providing the opportunity for a strong local response to an impressive international challenge.”

Weights for the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups will be released on September 10.

Provided by Press Association Sport

Most popular

Related Sections

Godolphin's Ghaiyyath set for step up in trip in Grosser Preis von Baden

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • Mail
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • WhatsApp
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn

Godolphin trainer Charlie Appleby is excited about stepping Ghaiyyath up in trip on his first start in more than four months in the Longines Grosser Preis von Baden in Germany.

The Newmarket handler believes the Dubawi colt will prove a different proposition when running over a mile and a half for the first time in the Group One contest at Baden Baden on Sunday.

After making a winning return to action in a Group Two at ParisLongchamp in April, Ghaiyyath was last sighted suffering an odds-on defeat in the Prix Ganay back at the French track later that month.

Appleby said: “Ghaiyyath is on track for Germany at the weekend. His work has been good, and preparation has been well to date. We are looking forward to getting him back on track.

“We will take a look at the race during the course of the week and make a final decision later on – but I’m very happy with what he has done so far and where he is, and at the moment all systems head towards Germany.

“This will be his first start over a mile and a half as well, and we have been looking forward to that. Hopefully he will be an exciting horse in the autumn.”

With Ghaiyyath set to make his return from a break at the weekend, stablemate Old Persian is expected to travel further afield in search for a second top-level success – with Appleby earmarking the Northern Dancer Stakes at Woodbine on September 14 as his next target.

Having failed to fire in the Coronation Cup at Epsom on his penultimate start, this year’s Dubai Sheema Classic winner finished a close third on his latest outing in a Group One at Hoppegarten this month.

Appleby said: “He ran a respectable race in Germany and seems to have come out of it well.

“With Ghaiyyath coming back, he will probably go to Canada for the Northern Dancer next month.”

A trip to Australia appears unlikely for 2017 St James’s Palace Stakes winner Barney Roy, with Appleby instead considering a Dubai campaign next year.

He added: “I don’t think we will be going to Australia with Barney Roy.

“I think the plan is to hold back and wait for Dubai. I can see him going well in something like the Jebel Hatta.”

Provided by Press Association Sport

Most popular

Related Sections

Godolphin's Red Galileo set for staying campaign following fine York effort

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • Mail
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • WhatsApp
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn

Godolphin trainer Saeed bin Suroor is in no rush to commit Red Galileo to future targets following his narrow defeat in the £1million Sky Bet Ebor at York.

Ridden by 5lb claimer Cieren Fallon – son of six-times champion jockey Kieren Fallon – Red Galileo was sent off at 25-1 for the prestigious one-mile-six-furlong handicap, but performed admirably to finish a close second behind the Ger Lyons-trained Mustajeer.

The winner is bound for Australia and a tilt at the Melbourne Cup – and Bin Suroor is not ruling out the possibility of his charge following the same route.

He said: “I was very happy with how he ran and he has come out of the race good. I think that trip is really good for him.

“He is doing well and I think he is better at this time of year. We will see where we go in the future, but we will be looking at stayers’ races for him.

“That (Australia) is one of the options.”

The Godolphin trainer also provided a positive update on two of his long-absent stable stars in Best Solution and Benbatl.

Both horses won three Group Ones in 2018, but have not been seen in action so far this season.

Best Solution has been off the track since finishing eighth in the Melbourne Cup last November, while Benbatl was last seen filling the runner-up spot behind Winx when she claimed her historic fourth victory in the Cox Plate the previous month.

Bin Suroor added: “Best Solution is coming back, along with Benbatl.

“Both horses are in good form and hopefully they will be back on the track in September. They had a busy time last year, so we have given them plenty of time.

“We will try to find small races for them to give them some confidence.”

Provided by Press Association Sport

Most popular

Related Sections