More Cups Targets For Cross Counter

Charlie Appleby and Cross Counter | Bronwen Healy

Godolphin's 2018 G1 Melbourne Cup winner Cross Counter (GB) (Teofilo {Ire}) will have the Australian showpiece as a target once again in 2021 as the gelding stays in training with Charlie Appleby as a 6-year-old.

“Off the back of Twilight Payment winning the Melbourne Cup at the age of seven, hopefully there is still a bit of life left in Cross Counter,” Appleby said. “To win the Melbourne Cup as 3-year-old is a tough gig to do. He went back and put up another good performance in the race last year [eighth], and I just felt this year during the summer he showed the signs of fatigue, so therefore we knocked his season on the head and gave him the rest of the summer off.”

Indeed, Cross Counter ran just three times this year, when third in the Longines Turf Handicap on the Saudi Cup Card and when third in both the G1 Gold Cup at Royal Ascot and the G3 Henry II S. at Sandown.

“He is out in Dubai getting some sunshine, and we will start his campaign there,” Appleby said. “I'd probably say the Dubai Gold Cup would be his main early-year aim. It's hard for him to run in those handicaps with big weights like he did in that race in Saudi Arabia last year, so I'd think we will aim for the Dubai Gold Cup.

“If he can rekindle his form he will be competitive in that, then longer term, we might work back from a Melbourne Cup with him.”

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