Godolphin horse becomes first British-trained victor of Melbourne Cup

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Thirty years of persistence, patience and conviction had their spectacular reward when Cross Counter won the G1 Melbourne Cup for His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, Godolphin and Darley at Flemington, Australia, on Tuesday.

Cross Counter and Kerrin McEvoy win the Melbourne Cup.

I don't know whether we go Cup racing next year, he'll probably have a bit more weight this time next year.

A cut leg foreleg nearly derailed the Melbourne Cup fortunes of Cross Counter but trainer Charlie Appleby's confidence grew after a track gallop at Werribee a week out from the race.

In the final 300 metres Cross Counter first passed the Charlie Fellowes-trained A Prince Of Arran, before edging out the fast-finishing Hughie Morrison's Marmelo to win by a length.

The win gives the global racing operation Godolphin its first Cup win, while jockey Kerrin McEvoy won for the third time. "He just needed the gaps there, that's all he needed".

"We collided with the horse that broke down pretty hard and it put us out of play completely", Avilius' jockey Glyn Schofield said.

"For me, it is a very special to be here, but like I say, for a team it is just fantastic for everybody".

His death comes after Verema (2013), Admire Rakti and Araldo (2014) and Red Cadeaux (2015) suffered injuries either during or immediately after previous Melbourne cups.

It was Buick who was in the saddle when Cross Counter finished runner-up in the Great Voltigeur Stakes at York's Ebor festival - a performance that left the gelding at the very bottom of the handicap with just eight stone to carry in the race that stops Australia.

"I think the mentality has changed", he said.

The forecast rain had arrived early on the day of the Cup, with more than 50mm falling in the hours leading up to the race.

"When we win the Cup, shortly after 3 o'clock Flemington will see something they have never seen before and are unlikely to ever see again", Dr Koukash declared. In the past 26 years, Godolphin horses have won 5,190 races, including 288 Group 1 wins.

Sportsbet did appear stuck in the gates 90 minutes before the Cup, with punters unable to access its desktop and mobile sites to place bets.

Protesters used the opportunity on Tuesday to highlight animal rights and the country's treatment of refugees.

But it was also noted in the coverage that the horse frequently did this before races, including when he ran without incident last start in the Caulfield Cup to finish third. It's since become the defining fixture of the Australian horse racing calendar.

"We're only a small team, so to run third in a race like this is remarkable".

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