Horse Racing

Cup-winning sheikh will be back for more

Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed will be back for more having finally won a Melbourne Cup after 30 years of trying.

Cross Counter’s win in Tuesday’s $ 7.3 million race fulfilled the long-coveted Cup dream of one of the world’s richest men.

He doesn’t plan to stop there.

Hugh Anderson, the UK and Dubai managing director of Sheikh Mohammed’s global racing powerhouse Godolphin, expects the operation to devote as much effort into winning a Cup as ever.

“I don’t think there’ll be any change in that respect,” he said.

“It’s a fantastic race.

“It’s one of the top events in the calendar every year and we will be just as enthusiastic about going for it in the future. I’m certain of that.”

The Melbourne Cup and America’s Kentucky Derby have long eluded Sheikh Mohammed.

He first tried to win the Melbourne Cup back in 1988, and through the Godolphin royal blue colours since 1998.

“I think it will mean a huge amount to him, but I imagine he will be just as pleased about the fact that this whole year has been really one series of continued successes,” Anderson said of the Cup win.

“It’s been a story of our in-house trainers with excellent horses I think delivering when they’ve needed to.”

The Cup victory notched up 30 Group One wins for Godolphin worldwide in 2018.

The Godolphin team sent out three runners from three different trainers on Tuesday – Cross Counter (Charlie Appleby), Best Solution (Saeed bin Suroor) and Avilius (Australia’s James Cummings) – with the youngest of the trio coming out on top

“To see a three-year-old homebred come home in this race is just beyond words,” Anderson said.

“It’s absolutely fantastic.”

Cross Counter made Appleby the first British trainer to win the Cup and landed jockey Kerrin McEvoy a third Cup victory.

This year’s rain-affected Melbourne Cup was marred by the death of the Irish-trained The Cliffsofmoher, who had to be put down after suffering a fractured shoulder.

Crowd numbers fell to 83,470, compared to 90,500 last year.

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