Melbourne Cup winner Cross Counter is to be aimed at the Dubai Gold Cup at Meydan on March 30.
Charlie Appleby’s four-year-old was a historic winner of Australia’s greatest race as the first to be trained in the UK.
He came from the rear to defeat Hughie Morrison’s Marmelo, with Charlie Fellowes’ Prince Of Arran completing a one-two-three for the Brits.
“Cross Counter has come back from Melbourne stronger and brighter than ever, and he has put on 25 kilos in body weight. He looks great,” Appleby told www.godolphin.com.
“After discussing his programme with His Highness Sheikh Mohammed, we have pencilled in the Dubai Gold Cup as a starting point for 2019, and we will see where that takes us.
“It will be an opportunity for His Highness to see Cross Counter on the big night, and also for Godolphin fans in Dubai to give the horse the ‘home town’ welcome he deserves.
“A defence of his Melbourne Cup crown is an obvious long-range target, but we know he will be getting a lot more weight this time.”
Appleby also revealed that Old Persian, who beat Cross Counter in the Great Voltigeur, will be aimed at the Sheema Classic; Brundtland could join Cross Counter in the Gold Cup; Loxley is to be aimed at the Dubai Turf, and Blue Point the Al Quoz.