McEvoy confident raider can Counter Cup rivals
KERRIN McEvoy is confident Cross Counter can concede age and experience and still overcome an interrupted preparation to be a legitimate Melbourne Cup contender.
Still only a three-year-old, the Godolphin colt has had only seven starts and was briefly restricted to box rest for two days after cutting a foreleg in quarantine.
But dual Cup-winner McEvoy says Charlie Appleby's raider has the talent to contend after a rousing 1200m gallop at Werribee with last season's Cranbourne Cup winner Folkswood.
"His replays from the UK say that he is very willing and that's how he felt this morning," McEvoy said after Cross Counter quickened nicely, clocking 35.92s for the last 600m.
"(He's) nice and genuine and he's out there to give his best.
"More importantly, he's moving well and he switched his leads well around the corner and once we straightened up, he's nice and agile for a bit, tall horse.
"He seemed nice and bright and a nice, sharp bit of work.
"He sat in behind Folkswood and did it stylishly. He moved up nicely over the last two furlongs (400m) and gave him a good blow.
"He galloped out nicely. Pretty pleased how he felt.
"He quickened up as soon as I asked. I feel as though he'll stay well."
McEvoy hopes Cross Counter's ability - he has four wins and two seconds from his seven outings - will enable him to overcome a perceived lack of ringcraft in the hurly burly of a Melbourne Cup.
"He's a quality colt. He's only three years old and he's obviously travelled out here in good style," he said.
"He's had that setback and he's got nice ability.
"He's by no means over the line but he's gonna be there and he'll show his worth on Cup day, I'm sure."
The Godolphin camp takes confidence from the fact Rekindling was having only his 10th start when he claimed last year's Cup.
McEvoy said Cross Counter, joint TAB $11 second favourite for the Cup, had not lost fitness because of the leg injury.
"Charlie and the team were happy that he was fit when he got here," he said.
"Obviously he had the little setback but he seems to have come through it in flying colours and he's ready to go now."
Asked to nominate a Cup danger, McEvoy said: "Everybody is obviously talking about Yucatan and he was visually very impressive there at Caulfield so a lot of water to go under the bridge."