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Series stars on tour: Cross Counter back to defend Melbourne Cup crown

4 Nov 2019

The Charlie Appleby-trained stayer ran well in Champions Series races this summer and will be joined in the line-up by such as Master Of Reality and Il Paradiso

Cross Counter won in Dubai before fine runs at Royal Ascot and Glorious Goodwood. Picture:

Charlie Appleby’s Cross Counter made history by becoming the first British-trained winner of the Melbourne Cup last year, and is back to defend his crown in the Lexus Melbourne Cup at Flemington on Tuesday under William Buick.

Since that momentous triumph, the son of Teofilo has won the Dubai Gold Cup and run with credit in defeat after returning to Europe in the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot, the Qatar Goodwood Cup and the Irish St Leger at the Curragh.

Joseph O’Brien won the 2017 Melbourne Cup with Rekindling – and fresh from becoming the youngest trainer to saddle a Breeders’ Cup winner when Iridessa stormed home in the Filly And Mare Turf at Santa Anita on Saturday, he launches a four-pronged assault at Flemington.

Frankie Dettori takes the ride on Master Of Reality, who finished thiurd to Stradivarius in the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot in June.

James McDonald partners Latrobe, Hugh Bowman is on Twilight Payment and John Allen keeps the ride on Downdraft following his Lexus Stakes win on Saturday.

Aidan O’Brien has three runners in Il Paradiso (Wayne Lordan), Magic Wand (Ryan Moore) and Hunting Horn (Seamie Heffernan).

All three O’Brien Sr runners have contested Champions Series races with Il Paradiso finishing third to Stradivarius in the Weatherbys Hamilton Lonsdale Cup.