Cross Counter headlines Godolphin charge on Glorious Goodwood day 1 - GulfToday

Cross Counter headlines Godolphin charge on Glorious Goodwood day 1


Cross Counter and William Buick win the 2018 Qatar Gordon Stakes at Goodwood.

Last year’s Melbourne Cup winner Cross Counter goes to post in the £500,000 G1 Goodwood Cup, staged over two miles and the highlight of the first day of Glorious Goodwood on Tuesday.

The Charlie Appleby-trained four-year-old faces eight rivals including champion Stradivarius in the race. Cross Counter finished fourth last time out behind Stradivarius in the Gold Cup (2m4f) at Royal Ascot and will again be ridden by James Doyle.

The son of Teofilo comfortably landed the G2 Dubai Gold Cup over two miles at Meydan, UAE on Dubai World Cup night, Saturday, Mar.30.

A tremendous 2018 for Cross Counter was capped by victory in Australia’s greatest race, the G1 Melbourne Cup over two miles at Flemington in November, when he was the length scorer from Marmelo. He was also successful at Glorious Goodwood in 2018 when the easy winner of the G3 Gordon Stakes over a mile and a half, defeating Dee Ex Bee by four and a half lengths in a new track record time.

James Doyle, who partnered Cross Counter for the first time in the Gold Cup, takes the ride again. A field of nine for the Goodwood Cup includes Stradivarius, winner of the race in both 2017 and 2018, as well as Dee Ex Bee, who was runner-up in the Gold Cup.

Charlie Appleby said: “Cross Counter ran a very respectable race over two and a half miles in the Gold Cup, but dropping back to two miles in the Goodwood Cup is a positive.

“Another positive is that he is the course record holder for a mile and a half at Goodwood, so he handles the course. Cross Counter came out of Ascot well.

“Stradivarius is a worthy champion stayer – he is unbeaten in the last 18 months - and it is a huge mountain to climb trying to beat him.

“But Cross Counter comes into the Goodwood Cup in good form and we will give it a go.”

Also taking place on the first day of Glorious Goodwood is the G2 Vintage Stakes, staged over seven furlongs for two-year-olds.

Godolphin is represented by the Charlie Appleby-trained Pinatubo (James Doyle - drawn five) and Platinum Star (Oisin Murphy - drawn six) from Saeed bin Suroor’s stable.

Both ran well at Royal Ascot in June. Shamardal colt Pinatubo won the Listed Chesham Stakes over seven furlongs in great style and is unbeaten in three starts, having earlier won over six furlongs at Epsom Downs and Wolverhampton.

Platinum Star ran on well in the Listed Queen Mary Stakes over five furlongs at the Royal Meeting, but was beaten half a length.He stepped back up to six furlongs for the G2 July Stakes at Newmarket and came within a short-head of victory.

There are seven runners in the Vintage Stakes, with the opposition including G2 Superlative Stakes scorer Mystery Power and G2 July Stakes third Visinari. Charlie Appleby said: “Pinatubo is in great form at home and brings experience to the table.

“He came out of the Chesham well and the Vintage Stakes has always been the plan.

“I feel he is the horse to beat at Goodwood, even though I respect the opposition.” Saeed bin Suroor remarked: “Platinum Star is doing good – he is a tough colt. “I think moving up to seven furlongs is going to suit him.

“He worked very well on Saturday and I am looking forward to a good performance.”

Meanwhile, in unrelated news, Delia Bushell who oversaw BT Sport’s acquisition of Premier League and Champions League football rights is to succeed Simon Bazalgette as Chief Executive of The Jockey Club, the largest commercial group in British horseracing.

Bazalgette is to step down in October after a successful 11 year tenure at The Jockey Club which operates 15 racecourses where some of the most famous race meetings in the global calendar take place -- The Cheltenham Festival, the world’s greatest steeplechase The Grand National at Aintree and The Epsom Oaks and Derby.

The Jockey Club saw its revenues grow to a record £214.6 million ($264 million) in 2018.

Those figures allowed the Jockey Club to contribute a record £27.1 million into the prizemoney pot -- up by just over £4 million from 2017 and more than double the amount it contributed 10 years ago. Bushell has more than 20 years’ experience in the media and sport sector in both executive and non-executive roles. She is a non-executive director of the England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and of Commonwealth Games England.

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