Best On Breeding - Melbourne Cup Edition
Mark Smith - Monday November 5

Enable assured her place in history as one of the all-time greats when adding Saturday's Breeders' Cup Turf to her Arc double but she was made to fight down the length of the Churchill Downs straight by the 3yo filly Magical, which ties in nicely with our Melbourne Cup tip.

Winner of the Group 1 Champion Fillies & Mares at Ascot on October 20, Galileo's Magical and Tuesday's Melbourne Cup hope Cross Counter (GB), by Galileo's son Teofilo (IRE), descend from the half-sister's Cassandra Go and Persian Secret who are also half-sisters to that underrated stallion Verglas who won the Coventry Stakes and was runner-up in the Irish 2000 Guineas.

The winner of the winner of the King Stand Stakes and runner-up to Mozart in the July Cup, Cassandra Go (Indian Ridge) far exceeded her half-sister on the track and is setting up a dynasty of her own at stud. That's not to say Persian Secret hasn't added to the family fortunes but just look at what Cassandra Go has achieved in recent years.

Coolmore's decision to invest in three daughters of Cassandra Go has reaped huge dividends.

It began at the Goffs Million in 2005 when John Magnier outlaid €400,000 for the Rock Of Gibraltar filly Theann. At the same sale the following year Demi O'Byrne needed to go to €450,000 for Cassandra Go's Pivotal filly Halfway To Heaven.

Eleven year's later MV Magnier had the final say at 1,600,000 gns for the Invincible Spirit x Cassandra Go filly Fantasy who has been stakes-placed twice in a very busy season at two in 2018.

Theann was a Group III winner and started her broodmare career the right way by producing the dual Group 1 winner Photo Call (Galileo) and this year's Group II Richmond Stakes winner Land Force (No Nay Never).

That is beginning to pale alongside Halfway To Heaven's achiements. After a stellar career on the track that brought three wins at the highest level, Irish One Thousand Guineas, Sun Chariot Stakes and Nassau Stakes, Halfway To Heaven has just about cemented her blue hen status with Magical, triple Group 1 winner Rhododendron and the Group III winner Flying The Flag. All three had a great start to life being by the champion Galileo.

So back to Persian Secret who is a daughter of Persian Heights.

From his time at stud in Australia Persian Heights sired the Caulfield Cup and MacKinnon Stakes winner Paris Lane and in Europe sired David Elsworth's mighty warrior Persian Punch. As game a horse that has ever looked through a bridle, Persian Punch finished third in Ethereal's 2001 Melbourne Cup and the same place again in Jezabeel's 2003 Melbourne Cup.

A stakes-winner in France, Persian Secret has produced 11 winners led by the stakes-winner Sheba (Alzao) who was third in the G1 Mother Goose Stakes, and the Gr III Prix de Meautry Royal Barriere winner Do The Honours (Highest Honor) who won 5 of her 10 starts.

To a mating with Kingmambo, Do The Honours produced the stakes-placed Waitress who is the dam of Cross Counter. (photo Godolphin)

While still only a Northern Hemisphere three-year-old, Charlie Appleby set the Melbourne Cup as a goal for Godolphin's colt when easily defeating Epsom Derby runner-up Dee Ex Bee in a record-breaking performance in the Group III Gordon Stakes over a mile and a half at Goodwood on August 4.

He was sent out a red-hot favourite when second behind his stablemate Old Persian in the Voltigeur Stakes at York a fortnight later but he didn't shirk his task to be beaten a head.

A standard-bearer for his sire Galileo in Australia, Teofilo (IRE) has been a wonderful success despite not having the best fertility.

After four seasons at Darley Australia at a fee of $22,000, Teofilo (IRE) missed two years before returning triumphant in 2016 and 2017with a fee of $44,000 after leaving the likes of Kermadec, Humidor, Happy Clapper, Palentino and Sonntag.

Cross Counter (GB) had a slight setback when cutting his leg in training however the Godolphin team are happy that he is best possible shape for Tuesday. We will put our faith in Kerrin McEvoy to navigate a path from barrier 19.


1 Cross Counter (GB) (Teofilo)

2 Youngstar (High Chaparral)

3 The Cliffsofmoher (IRE) (Galileo)

4 Best Solution (IRL) (Kodiac).

Best Outsider – last year's Melbourne Cup favourite Marmelo (GB) (Duke Of Marmalade).