Lexus Melbourne Cup
Group 1 Handicap,
Flemington 04:00 (UK time)
£4,250,000
3yo plus, 2m    
Tuesday 3rd November 2020

Charlie Appleby is dreaming of a second Melbourne Cup success with Cross Counter after taking encouragement from his performance in the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot on June 18.

The five-year-old became the first British-trained winner of the ‘race that stops a nation’ when striking gold in 2018 – and was beaten just a length and a half in eighth place when defending his Flemington crown in November.

Cross Counter disappointed when hot favourite for a valuable staying handicap on the undercard of the Saudi Cup in February, but Appleby was pleased with his third place in Thursday’s Ascot feature – albeit beaten a long way by the brilliant Stradivarius.

“The plan was always to go out there and sit cold,” said the Newmarket trainer.

“I said to (jockey) James (Doyle) to just let him float around out the back and get him passing horses.

“Since Melbourne, we’ve ridden him a bit more positively, but we decided we’d let him go out there and enjoy himself, pass horses and see if the enthusiasm was still there. For me, I was delighted to see him do what he did because he galloped out and James said it was ground he doesn’t really enjoy.”

Appleby will map out a summer campaign before heading to Australia.

“It was an encouraging run, and I think he will come forward for that,” he said.

“We might just have a look at the Henry II at Sandown (on July 5) for him, which is a Group Three, so he will have no penalties there.

“That (Melbourne Cup) has been the long-term target again. He ran a creditable race there again last year, and I think he showed at Ascot he is back to where he was in Melbourne.

“Hopefully there is a race or two left in him.”

Lexus Melbourne Cup 2019 (Group 1 Handicap)
A$ 8,000,000
3yo plus, 2m (3200 Metres)
24 ran

POS (DRAW) DIST HORSE AGE WGT TRAINER JOCKEY SP
1 (21)     Vow And Declare 4 8-3 Danny O'Brien Craig A Williams 10/1
2 (8) nse Prince Of Arran 6 8-7 Charlie Fellowes Michael Walker 16/1
3 (17) nse Il Paradiso 3 8-4 A P O'Brien Wayne Lordan 14/1
4 (1) hd Master Of Reality 4 8-10 Joseph O'Brien Frankie Dettori 25/1
5 (20) ½ Surprise Baby 5 8-6 Paul Preusker Jordan Childs 11/1
6 (2) nk Mer De Glace 4 8-11 Hisashi Shimizu Damian Lane 17/2
7 (4) hd Finche 5 8-7 Chris Waller Kerrin McEvoy 15/2F
8 (5) hd Cross Counter 4 9-1 Charlie Appleby William Buick 12/1
9 (16) ½ Steel Prince 5 8-4 Anthony Freedman Brett Prebble 60/1
10 (24) 1½ Magic Wand 4 8-6 A P O'Brien Ryan Moore 25/1
11 (19) hd Twilight Payment 6 8-9 2 Joseph O'Brien Hugh Bowman 40/1
12 (10) shd Sound 6 8-6 Michael Moroney James Winks 90/1
13 (7) hd Constantinople 3 8-4 David A & B Hayes & Tom Dabernig Joao Moreira 17/2
14 (13) hd Mirage Dancer 5 8-10 Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young Ben Melham 50/1
15 (11) hd Hunting Horn 4 8-9 A P O'Brien Seamie Heffernan 50/1
16 (3) ½ Raymond Tusk 4 8-7 Richard Hannon Jamie Spencer 20/1
17 (18) hd The Chosen One 4 8-3 Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman Timothy Clark 30/1
18 (22) 1¼ Latrobe 4 8-9 Joseph O'Brien James McDonald 20/1
19 (14) shd Southern France 4 8-10 Ciaron Maher & David Eustace Mark Zahra 25/1
20 (9) ¾ Youngstar 5 8-3 Chris Waller Tommy Berry 30/1
21 (23) 1 Neufbosc 4 8-6 David A & B Hayes & Tom Dabernig Luke Nolen 100/1
22 (15) nk Downdraft 4 8-6 Joseph O'Brien John Allen 20/1
23 (6) 2¼ Mustajeer 6 8-9 2 Kris Lees Damien Oliver 18/1
24 (12) dist Rostropovich 4 8-9 David A & B Hayes & Tom Dabernig Dwayne Dunn 40/1

Melbourne Cup Timeline

1861 – The first Melbourne Cup was run and won by Archer, ridden by John Cutts and trained by Etienne De Mestre. The first prize was a gold watch and 930 pounds and the event attracted a crowd 4,000 people.

1865 – The first year a trophy was awarded, which was a silver bowl on a stand with a narrow neck with two ornate handles and topped with a horse and jockey.

1873 – The smallest ever Melbourne Cup field with seven starters.

1875 – The first time the Melbourne Cup was run on the first Tuesday in November.

1877 - Melbourne Cup became a public holiday for Victorians.

1880 – First Melbourne Cup to attract an attendance of 100,000.

1890 – Carbine won the Melbourne Cup in record time (3.28.25) carrying a record weight (65.5kg) in the biggest field ever assembled (39).

1896 – The first ever Melbourne Cup to be captured on film.

1925 – Melbourne radio station 3LO broadcast a live commentary of the Cup for the very first time.

1930 – Phar Lap makes history, winning races on each of the four days of the Melbourne Cup Carnival.

1948 – Photo finishing was used for the first time to decide the winner with Rimfire winning over Dark Marne by a nose length.

1965 – Light Fingers wins the Melbourne Cup to provide Bart Cummings with his first Melbourne Cup win.

1972 – The first metric running of the Melbourne Cup with the two-mile distance becoming 3,200 metres.

1990 – The fastest run Melbourne Cup was won by Kingston Rule in 3:16.3 minutes.

1993 – The first time the great race is won by an international horse, Vintage Crop from Dublin.

2001 – Carbine inducted into the Hall of Fame.