DUBAI: Cross Counter successfully bridged the gap between Australia and the UAE with a brilliant victory for jockey William Buick over Isopolini – like the winner a 4-year-old owned by Godolphin and trained by Charlie Appleby – in the Dubai Gold Cup sponsored by Al Tayer Motors (G2), run over 3200m and with a purse of $1.5m.
Winner of the Melbourne Cup last November, Cross Counter defied the lengthy lay-off, showing great courage as the two stablemates drew clear of their eight rivals from 500m out. Ispolini surrendered the lead 250m from the finish, where Cross Counter forged ahead to gain victory by one and a quarter lengths in a time of 3min 19secs, the third-best in 11-year history of the race.
Cross Counter, who gave both his trainer and jockey their first successes in the race, was taking his career record to six wins and two second placings from nine races.
French-trained Call The Wind stayed on over the last 500m to be third, three lengths off the first two and four lengths ahead of Gold Mount, Hong Kong’s first runner in the race.