Godolphin's Cross Counter could be bound for the Melbourne Cup after putting up a ruthless display of controlled front-running in the Gordon Stakes at Goodwood.
Stepping up in class in the Group Three contest, the Charlie Appleby-trained runner was sent off a 7-4 chance in the hands of William Buick.
The gelding always looked in control, coming home 4-1/2 lengths clear of favourite Dee Ex Bee in a course record for the near 12-furlongs (2400m) of 2min31.39sec.
"He is a horse that had a lovely, progressive profile going into the race," Appleby said.
"We were confident we would put a race up to Dee Ex Bee.
"On the back of that, our long-term agenda was to take him to Australia for the Melbourne Cup.
"We will get him back and see how he is, but that is where his next start is likely to be. He is a gelding so he can't run in the St Leger."