where the horse is always the hero
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Posted 2019-03-30 14:17:40  
Melbourne Cup winner becomes the Gold Cup winner

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 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.


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..”

Brett Doyle, Jockey, ISPOLINI (2nd)—“He travelled strongly the whole way and gave me a great spin. The race turned into a sprint but I was happy with my position throughout and he stayed on well. This was his first run over 3200m and given how well he travelled and the pace he showed - he may be better back over 2800m..”

Aurelien Lemaitre, Jockey, CALL THE WIND (3rd)—“He ran very well. He was very relaxed. I was outpaced when they quickened. And then he stayed on. He is still a bit young in his head. He only ran the first time at the age of 4. He will be better with age.”

Freddy Head Trainer, CALL THE WIND (3rd)—“They didn't go very quick at the beginning and when they quickened he was a bit outpaced and couldn't go with them. He finishes well though, but there is nothing to say. He is still young, he hasn't raced a lot. He probably would have prefered a better pace. He is still learning. He certainly hasn't lost anything in defeat..”

Ryan Moore, Jockey, GOLD MOUNT (4th)—“ He was beaten by three very good horses on his first try beyond 12 furlongs (2400m). I am very happy with the run.”

Bernard Fayd’Herbe, Jockey, MARINARESCO (5th)—“He ran a great race, running against some of the best stayers in the world. It was probably a bit too far for him. We thought, because of his breeding, that he’d see out the trip, but 2000m-2400m is probably his wheelhouse. Still a very good effort.”

Shane Foley, Jockey, PLATINUM WARRIOR (6th)—“I think the race was too far for him. It was a big step up in distance for him. It was just too much. He needs the blinkers but we couldn't put them on him today going two miles (3200m). They would have helped him concentrate. I think turning back in distance and with the blinkers he'll be perfect next time. I'm looking forward to riding him again when he gets back to the US and Santa Anita. He's won there before and he's a nice horse.”

Connor Beasley, Jockey, SHARPALO (7th)— “He's run very well to be honest, stepping up to that trip today. I think a truly run race like that has probably found him out at the 3200m.”

Patrick Cosgrave, Jockey, RED GALILEO (8th)—“The trip was fine, he just wasn’t quite good enough. He was a bit outclassed and he’s had a long season.”

Oisin Murphy, Jockey, PRINCE OF ARRAN (9th)—“He had a beautiful trip, but he just didn’t run up to his level unfortunately. There’s nothing obvious amiss with him, but he’s a much better horse than that.” 

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