Teofilo's Melbourne Cup Hero Cross Counter Makes Successful Return

Mark Smith - Sunday March 31

He won the Melbourne Cup in the style of a future topliner so it was great to see Teofilo's son Cross Counter make a successful return to racing in Saturday night's Dubai Gold Cup.

Grant Courtney was trackside to record all the action.


Cross Counter successfully bridged the gap between Australia and the UAE with a brilliant victory for jockey William Buick over Isopolini – like the winner a 4-year-old owned by Godolphin and trained by Charlie Appleby – in the Dubai Gold Cup sponsored by Al Tayer Motors (G2), run over 3200m and with a purse of $1.5m.

Winner of the Melbourne Cup last November, Cross Counter defied the lengthy lay-off, showing great courage as the two stablemates drew clear of their eight rivals from 500m out. Ispolini surrendered the lead 250m from the finish, where Cross Counter forged ahead to gain victory by one and a quarter lengths in a time of 3min 19secs, the third-best in the 11-year history of the race.

Cross Counter, who gave both his trainer and jockey their first successes in the race, was taking his career record to six wins and two second placings from nine races.

French-trained Call The Wind stayed on over the last 500m to be third, three lengths off the first two and four lengths ahead of Gold Mount, Hong Kong's first runner in the race.

QUOTES

Charlie Appleby , Trainer, CROSS COUNTER (1st)—"It was his first opportunity to run since Melbourne and he answered all the questions. William was put in a bit of a pocket in the race but you're actually never too worried when you're working with the nice horses and good jockeys we have.

"I'm delighted with the result, it's what tonight is all about and it's good to get the first one out of the way. I just spoke to His Highness and we said we'd let the dust settle before come up with a plan but we could maybe go for the Gold Cup. But we'll sit back and enjoy today before deciding where we go."

William Buick, Jockey, CROSS COUNTER (1st)—"I was always going to choose Cross Counter over Ispolini and it is great has he come out and won on his return. Cross Counter is a special horse for His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and Godolphin. The pace was a bit stop-start and I was very happy with the way he travelled and he finished off well. It is a great effort when you consider he has been off since the Melbourne Cup."

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