GODOLPHIN trainer Charlie Appleby has become the first English trainer to win the Melbourne Cup with the most inexperienced runner Cross Counter storming to a famous victory.
Cross Counter, a northern hemisphere three-year-old, like last year’s winner Rekindling, made the most of the wet conditions, proving too strong for Marmelo and A Prince of Arran in the $7.3 million two-mile classic.
Through a packed and condensed field of competitors, the British horse burst through on the final stretch to take the top spot.
Appleby’s young star becomes the first Godolphin-owned horse to win Australia’s greatest race.
The win is also jockey Kerrin McEvoy’s third victory after first tasting success in the Cup on Brew in 2000 and Almandin in 2016.
It continues a remarkable year for the jockey, who recently won $13 million The Everest for the second occasion on Redzel. Cross Counter was one of three Godolphin runners with Saeed bin Suroor saddling up Caulfield Cup winner Best Solution while James Cummings turned out Avilius.
Appleby said: “It’s a day I will never forget. Coming in to today, this horse ticked a lot of boxes. I’m just delighted.”
Mcevoy was elated: “I thought mate, is this happening again? And yeah look, I’m just lucky I can ride light on these lovely staying horses prepared unbelievably well by Godolphin and Charlie Appleby and a third Melbourne Cup, woo!”
The race was marred by a serious injury to The Cliffsofmoher, who had to be put down.