Cross Counter has made an already magical year even more memorable for Sheikh Mohammed, Godolphin and Darley by winning Australia’s greatest race, the G1 Melbourne Cup.
A son of Darley stallion Teofilo, Cross Counter triumphed thanks to a brilliant ride by Kerrin McEvoy, a superb training performance by Charlie Appleby and the patience and persistence of his owner.
For Sheikh Mohammed, the win came 30 years after he first tried to win a race in which his horses have been placed five times.
He becomes Teofilo's 15th G1 winner and continues the outstanding success of a stallion whose six seasons in Australia produced such high-class horses as G1 winners Happy Clapper, Humidor, Palentino and fellow Darley stallion Kermadec.
In Europe, his leading performers include G1 Irish Derby winner Trading Leather, Ajman Princess, Pleascach, Havana Gold and Loch Garman.
Cross Counter had raced only seven times before tackling one of the world’s most gruelling handicaps and arrived at Flemington on Tuesday in such spectacular order that he was able to come from last to round up 23 opponents and score by a length.
In an all-English finish, Cross Counter won by a length from Marmelo with Prince Of Arran third.