Last year’s winner Cross Counter heads the betting for the 2019 Group 1 Lexus Melbourne Cup (3200m) which will be worth a staggering $8 million.
Victoria Racing Club chairperson Amanda Elliott announced today that Australia’s most famous race run at Flemington on the first Tuesday in November would now carry overall prizemoney of $8 million, up from $7.3 million that the 2018 field raced for.
The Charlie Appleby trained Cross Counter picked up a cool $4 million for the powerful Godolphin stable with his win in the 2018 Melbourne Cup and if he can score back to back wins in the ‘Race That Stops A Nation’, the outstanding stayer will collect another $4,400,000 plus $250,000 in trophies.
The runner up will receive $1.1 million and third place $550,000 while prizemoney will continue to be paid down to 12th place, with 6th to 12th to receive $160,000, up from $150,000.
“At $8 million, the Lexus Melbourne Cup is the world’s richest handicap and the world’s richest staying race,” Mrs Elliott told RSN Racing Pulse.
“It is the race every Australian owner, trainer and jockey wants to win, and internationally, has become one of the most sought after prizes in world racing.
“Connections cannot buy a place in the Melbourne Cup, it has to be earned. The results of the recently revamped Andrew Ramsden at Flemington highlights the sheer joy that comes with knowing your horse has secured a place in the Cup.”
Early betting for the 2019 Melbourne Cup has Cross Counter marked as the $15 favourite to score back to back wins while six horses share the second line of betting at $21 – Amade, Avilius, Falcon Eight, Ghostwatch, Marmelo, and Torcedor.
Cross Counter has had one run since claiming victory in the 2018 Melbourne Cup for a win in the Group 2 AED 1.5m dirham Dubai Gold Cup (3200m) at Meydan in Dubai on March 30.
“This was our first opportunity to run him since and I think he has answered all the questions we needed to know – he is enjoying life and going the right way,” Appleby said after the Gold Cup victory.
Cross Counter is entered for the Group 1 £500,000 Gold Cup (2 miles and 4 furlongs) at Royal Ascot in England on day three of the five day Royal Ascot Carnival on June 20 and is on the second line of betting at $4.80 behind the John Gosden trained Stradivarius.