Thursday, 13 December, 2018

Godolphin Wins First Melbourne Cup With Cross Counter

Melbourne's Spring Festival which includes the Melbourne Cup takes place at Flemington Racecourse Six things to know about the 2018 Melbourne Cup race
Charles Bowen | 08 November, 2018, 03:00

Kerrin McEvoy took out his third career Melbourne Cup on Cross Counter but he may be feeling the pinch after a stunning pre-race promise to his wife Cathy.

"This is a race we have been trying to win for years and I'm just fortunate to turn up with the right horse".

A Prince Of Arran only won his way into Tuesday's race with victory in the Lexus Stakes on Saturday.

Godolphin's owner, Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, had spent a fortune sending horses to the "race that stops a nation" over two decades and now tastes victory after linking up with Newmarket trainer Appleby.

Since its foundation in 1992, Godolphin, which was named after Godolphin Arabian, a stallion imported to England three centuries ago, has fielded 4,664 horses in more than 26,000 runs.

"I am just so delighted. It's just great for the team".

While the task of getting Cross Counter to one of the world's most gruelling races in peak fitness was performed to perfection, it was the horse who produced the ultimate winning effort.

Another Aidan O'Brien horse, Yucatan, had gone off as favourite, ahead of English stayer Magic Circle.

At Ascot, racegoers will have the best of both worlds - live racing and the $7.05 million Cup at 12pm beamed on the track's big screen and across the racecourse, which this year features the new Flametree Garden area for general admission patrons.

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Heavy rain slowed progress on the track and created challenging conditions in the stands, with Australian media reporting that the roofs had collapsed of some facilities at Flemington.

Temporary boardwalks had to be laid down to save punters' shoes from the rising floodwaters at Flemington's world-famous Birdcage, but the skies had cleared by the time the main event came around at 3 p.m. local time (12 a.m ET).

Cliffsofmoher jockey Ryan Moore.

"You get out of bed very early and spend a lot of time on the back of horses". Craziest conditions I've ridden in. "I knew that if he found the gaps, this horse has got the gears to pick up". He was treated by vets for three weeks after the race, but was eventually euthanised.

"The Chairmen and Directors of the Victoria Racing Club (VRC) extend their sympathies to the Williams family and the connections of The CliffsofMoher, which was euthanised after he went amiss in the Lexus Melbourne Cup", a statement read.

"It's fantastic to be second in the Melbourne Cup".

Protesters used the opportunity on Tuesday to highlight animal rights and the country's treatment of refugees.

Wagering data from last year's Melbourne Cup Day showed that, in the immediate lead-up to the main race, a peak of 850 bets a second were being placed through Sportsbet. It was also 20 years after Faithful Son became the first runner for the Godolphin operation in Melbourne.

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