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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 17 November 2018

A hat-trick of wins encapsulates the success story of Dubai itself

The Melbourne Cup triumph marks a remarkable journey for Godolphin stables

Cross Counter storming to victory in the Melbourne Cup. Andy Brownbill / AP
Cross Counter storming to victory in the Melbourne Cup. Andy Brownbill / AP

Since the 1880s, the Carbine Lodge stables have offered unrivalled views across the Flemington racecourse in Melbourne, named after a horse so lucky, women would often pluck his tail hair as a good luck charm.

Today you are more likely to see the royal blue silks of Godolphin belonging to the stables’ current owners but it seems Carbine’s magic is still casting a spell over the racecourse, more than a century on.

Earlier today, Godolphin’s Cross Counter won the prestigious Melbourne Cup for the first time, ending a 20-year wait for glory in Australia and completing a remarkable hat-trick of Group 1 wins for the Dubai racing operation, owned by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai.

Cross Counter’s success follows Masar’s triumph at the Epsom Derby in June and Thunder Snow storming to his seventh win in the Dubai World Cup earlier this year.

In Melbourne, the joy on Sheikh Mohammed’s face was apparent; his trainers were left speechless. Dubai’s ruler attended his first race meeting in 1967 after famously sharing his breakfast with his horse on his way to school.

He has long been known as a global powerhouse in the equestrian world but Godolphin’s achievements will have reverberations beyond the sphere of horse racing.

From Kentucky in the US to Hokkaido in Japan, from Newmarket in the UK to Kildare in Ireland, he has pumped millions into stud farms and facilities, boosting local trade and economies, and both lending skills and hiring from the talent pool in each of those communities where Godolphin is present.

The success of the 26-year-old stables, with more than 5,000 wins worldwide, encapsulates the story of the pioneering spirit of Dubai, one that endlessly pushes forward and innovates in everything it does. Rightly, it has grabbed the attention of the world once again.