Counter argument set to win the day at Goodwood
Cross Counter can spoil the party for Stradivarius in what promises to be an enthralling renewal of the Qatar Goodwood Cup today.
John Gosden's Stradivarius has dominated the staying division for the last two seasons, most recently claiming his second Gold Cup at Royal Ascot to stretch his unbeaten run to seven.
He will bring the house down on Tuesday if he can make it eight on the Sussex Downs, because in doing so he will complete a Goodwood Cup hat-trick - emulating the feat of the hugely popular stayer of the 1990s, Double Trigger.
On the one hand it would seem folly to back against a horse who appears to have very few, if any, chinks in his racing armour.
However, there is just a chance that coming back to two miles could tip the balance in Cross Counter's favour.
Charlie Appleby's charge was an impressive winner of the Gordon Stakes at this meeting 12 months ago, before proving he possesses that potent blend of speed and stamina required to win a Melbourne Cup - becoming the first British-trained winner of the Flemington showpiece.
He picked up where he left off in the Dubai Gold Cup in March, and was then fourth behind Stradivarius at the Royal meeting. Cross Counter was beaten less than two lengths, so it is not beyond the realms of possibility that a horse who will almost certainly be seen to better effect back over this shorter trip can turn the form around.
It looks like being another big day for Appleby, who also has outstanding claims with Pinatubo in what looks a strong Vintage Stakes.