How Sheikh Mohammed finally lived his Melbourne Cup dream

This year's Melbourne Cup field has been locked in  Image Getty

Follow all the live action from the Melbourne Cup as the "Race That Stops a Nation" gets underway.

That's a strike rate of 20% for the group - the racing arm of Sheikh Mohammed's Darley breeding operation - which has outposts in Britain, the United Arab Emirates, Japan, Ireland, France, the U.S. and Australia.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum is finally a big victor.

Sheikh Mohammed spoke regularly with Appleby over the past few months as they formulated the plan to get Cross Counter in the $7.3 million Melbourne Cup.

But Charlie Appleby insisted the Sheikh had remained patient and unflustered - and that helped lay the foundations for Cross Counter's 2018 win.

McEvoy, like Appleby, was quick to praise Sheikh Mohammed.

"So I can't believe it".

The win gave McEvoy his third Cup win, but it was Sheikh Mohammed who gave him his first chance in the race, putting him on Beekeeper who finished third in 2002, and that ride led to McEvoy joining the Godolphin team.

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The 8-1 chance Cross Counter, who broke the track record when winning the Gordon Stakes at Glorious Goodwood in the summer, won by a length from the Hughie Morrison-trained Marmelo, with A Prince Of Arran third for Charlie Fellowes.

"I'm absolutely delighted. This is everybody's dream", said Appleby, who also prepared Godolphin's first Epsom Derby victor, Masar, for his victory in June.

The Cliffsofmoher's death follows several other tragic incidents in recent years on Cup day. "This is a race for years we've been trying to win and I'm just in the fortunate position to be able to come here with the right horse". It's a day I will never forget.

He is equally determined to celebrate by stripping down to his G-string, despite the Victoria Racing Club saying it would be a shame if the enthusiastic owner had to miss the presentation due to a "wardrobe malfunction".

Godolphin first entered the Melbourne Cup in 1998 with Faithful Son and has more than 900 runners a year in Australia alone. Topweight Best Solution, from the Godolphin stable of Saeed Bin Suroor, posted his third consecutive Group One victory in the Caulfield Cup over 1 ½ miles.

Japanese thoroughbred Admire Rakti also died in 2014 after collapsing in his stall after the race, while Araldo was put down after being spooked by a spectator and breaking a hind leg. The winning jockey, Australian Kerrin McEvoy now has three Melbourne Cups to his name after winning the race on Brew as an apprentice in 2000 and Almandin in 2016. Obviously Godolphin has been a huge supporter of mine.

"It's a real problem for you lot because, bar Winx - and even the horses Winx is beating. this Melbourne Cup has just confirmed everything".

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