Monday 9 December 2019

Counter argument in the Cup

Cross Counter
Cross Counter

Cross Counter can spoil the party for Stradivarius in what promises to be an enthralling Qatar Goodwood Cup.

John Gosden's Stradivarius has dominated the staying division for the last two seasons, claiming his second Gold Cup at Royal Ascot to stretch his unbeaten run to seven.

He will bring the house down today if he can make it eight on the Sussex Downs, because in doing so he will complete a Goodwood Cup hat-trick. On the one hand, it would seem folly to back against a horse who appears to have very few, if any, chinks in his armour. However, there is just a chance that coming back to two miles could tip the balance in Cross Counter's favour.

Charlie Appleby's charge was an impressive winner of the Gordon Stakes at this meeting 12 months ago, before proving he possesses that potent blend of speed and stamina required to win a Melbourne Cup - becoming the first British-trained winner of the Flemington showpiece. He picked up where he left off in the Dubai Gold Cup in March, and was then fourth behind Stradivarius at the Royal meeting. Cross Counter was beaten less than two lengths, so it is not beyond the realms of possibility that a horse who will almost certainly be seen to better effect back over this shorter trip can turn the form around.

It looks like being another big day for Appleby, who also has outstanding claims with Pinatubo in what looks a strong Vintage Stakes.

The colt has come a long way since winning a lowly novice event at Wolverhampton on his debut in May, following up in the Woodcote at Epsom before completing his hat-trick with a dominant display in the Chesham Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Appleby immediately identified this seven-furlong Group Two as the next port of call, and Pinatubo is fancied to consolidate his position as ante-post favourite for next year's 2000 Guineas with a fourth straight win.

Today's selections

BEVERLEY: 2.05 Tell Me All, 2.40 Lafilia, 3.15 Harry Love, 3.50 Ginger Jam, 4.20 Seductive Moment, 4.55 Muatadel, 5.30 Colony Queen.

GALWAY: 5.20 Fast Buck, 5.55 Jack Dillinger, 6.25 Cape Town Lady, 7.05 Mudlahhim, 7.40 Onlyhuman, 8.10 Emphatic, 8.40 Red Striker.

GOODWOOD: 1.50 Beringer, 2.25 Pinatubo, 3.00 Sir Dancealot, 3.35 CROSS COUNTER (NAP), 4.10 Good Job Power, 4.45 Count Otto, 5.15 Al Messila.

PERTH: 5.45 Purple King, 6.15 Nietzsche, 6.50 Heavey, 7.25 Old Salt, 8.00 Sleepy Haven, 8.30 Roll Of Thunder, 9.00 Oceanus.

WORCESTER: 5.35 Starlight Court, 6.05 Dandridge, 6.40 Dalkingstown, 7.15 Volturnus, 7.50 Takingitallin, 8.20 Hallings Comet, 8.50 Cardy.

YARMOUTH: 1.40 Global Acclamation, 2.15 Hariboux, 2.50 Maroon Bells, 3.25 Knowing, 4.00 Majaalis, 4.30 Just Later, 5.05 Han Solo Berger.

DOUBLE: Pinatubo and Cross Counter.

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