Can the all-conquering Godolphin team land the 2018 Melbourne Cup?

Can the all-conquering Godolphin team land the 2018 Melbourne Cup?
Published: 15 October 2018 (555 Views)
The Melbourne Cup is now just weeks away, with horses heading over from all around the world to race for the healthy purse of A$7,300,000. It is one of the richest turf races in the world, so is a key targeted event. Australia stops to watch the race, so can leading connections Godolphin finally land the race this season?

Cross Counter

The leading Godolphin contender heading in to the race looks to be Cross Counter. For this fantastic event, a number of savvy punters who fancied a flutter on the race have looked at the best sign up offers on the SportyTrader website. There are some great deals there, which many have opted to take up, as the horse remains one of the favourites for the race. The three year old son of Teofilo is highly progressive and if that continues must head in with a strong chance.

He kicked off his racing career at the end of 2017, winning a Wolverhampton class five race. The horse then followed up at the start of 2018 before being subsequently gelded. A 136-day break followed with two defeats with the horse looking like it needed the run, staying on well at the finish. Cross Counter was then supported heavily for his next start in a class two handicap at Ascot and duly obliged. This was another example of the horses staying ability.

The horses next start was his first into group company as he took on the Epsom Derby second, Dee Ex Bee. Buick made most as the horse travelled with ease, staying on powerfully to win by just over four lengths. Cross Counter was progressing quickly with top race honours now looming. His final start was a step up in the St Leger trial at York. This was a highly competitive group two, but he was sent off a well backed 6/4 favourite. He again travelled well and looked the likely winner only to fail to get past stablemate Old Persian, with Kew Gardens back in third.

This defeat could just be the luckiest thing that could have happened to the horse as his handicap mark has not been affected to badly. He will be running of a lovely racing weight, so could finally end the long wait for his powerful connections.

Hamada

Another horse heading over from leading trainer, Charlie Appleby. The four year old son of Cape Cross is now really racking up a sequence of wins, so the question now is can he keep improving? Hamada was defeated in his opening two starts of his career before a victory at short odds in a weak maiden at Pontefract. Similar to Cross Counter the horse was then gelded but also faced a difficult injury which could have been the end of the racing career.

This just shows the esteem the horse is held in for connections to keep him in training. He returned after a near two-year absence to contest a class two handicap at Wolverhampton, and showed he retained all his ability winning well. Another victory followed just weeks later as the horse battled on well to beat the Marco Botti trained Crowned Eagle at York.

What followed next would be a remarkable performance from the horse. He was sent to his local track, Newmarket, to contest the Gordon’s handicap. Under Buick he travelled well, tracking the leaders before staying on powerfully to win by 7 lengths. This was a special performance and the first indication he could just be quiet special. Hamada would then contest his first group race at Newbury and again showed distinct improvement in beating the fancied Richard Hannon trained Raymond Tusk. The horse has now won five on the bounce and the sky is the limit, so he is another who could land the race for Godolphin.


- Agencies

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