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'Counter’ on the improve and poised to resume Cup prep

J A McGrath

Trainer Charlie Appleby has delivered an upbeat progress report about Godolphin Melbourne Cup contender Cross Counter, who has been on the ‘easy’ list at Werribee since sustaining a cut to his leg.

Appleby expects the gelding to resume preparation for the Cup in full swing in the next few days and is ‘very hopeful’ he will take his place in the big race on Tuesday, 6 November.

“I am very happy the way the cut is progressing,” the trainer said. “I receive reports from our team in Melbourne on a daily basis, and I am constantly being briefed by our vet.

“Cross Counter will have another day of walking tomorrow (Friday), he will then start trotting on Saturday, and I expect him to resume his normal exercise program soon after.

“Fortunately, time is on our side with this. I’m not concerned about his fitness level as he was race-fit when he left for Australia and he had been ticking over nicely after arrival,” he pointed out.