Cross Counter Trainer Indicates Melbourne Cup Defense

It is a newThoroughbred racing season starting and it cannot come too soon, as we have endured a tedious July with nothing to show for the effort.

Some things improve with age and that is assuredly true for things carrying the name of Stradivarius.

Stradivarius the violin will set you back a pretty penny. One of those fetched 9.5 million pounds at auction.

Stradivarius the horse has improved, too.

The Irish stayer recently won the GB Group 1 Goodwood Cup at Britain’s Ascot for the third consecutive time for his 12th win in 17 starts.

The impressive stallion will not likely take the float ride to Australia for the Melbourne Cup, but Cross Counter will be returning to defend.

Cross Counter and Stradivarius put on quite the show in the Goodwood Cup. Cross Counter was running ahead, with Stradivarius stalking him the entire way in the 3219-metre race.

A late challenge by Dee Ex Bee almost derailed Strad, as Frankie Dettori was guilty of premature celebration, but the pair held on to win by a neck, with Cross Counter 1.75 lengths back for third.

Stradivarius was last beaten in 2018 and since May of that year, has taken to the track for eight consecutive wins.

Cross Counter trainer Charlie Appleby speaking to the media, said, “If he (Cross Counter) had won today, it would probably have been a different story, but he has still run a solid race and he has got a racing weight in the Melbourne Cup at the moment. We hope he will have a live shot again.”

A little cheeky of Appleby to put it that way, but not surprising.

Stradivarius is staying put and is targeted to defend his 2018 in the Group 2 Lonsdale Cup at York next month. A win would earn him a $1 million pound bonus, which currently equates to 1.77 million Roos, so the bother of bringing him down under to race in a field of 24 does not seem to appeal.

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