Sydney Cup win was great but Melbourne Cup even greater
Published: April 23, 2017 - 3:17PM
Leading English trainer Charlie Appleby maintains that while the huge Godolphin racing outfit was elated with their first Sydney Cup success on Saturday, the stable was still firmly focused on winning this year's Melbourne Cup.
He said that Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum contacted him an hour after the stable's success in Sydney and said while he was "highly delighted", the same emphasis on winning the Melbourne Cup would remain.
Appleby and his owner Sheikh Mohammed are fully aware that Australia's greatest handicap and one of the world's most important staying races has eluded one of the world's most powerful stables for two decades.
The vast world operation has captured nearly every major race around the world, however the Melbourne cup is one race they have struggled to win.
Appleby explained that Polarisation, the winner of the $2.1 million group 1 Sydney Cup, and stablemate Penglai Pavilion were sent to Sydney specifically as a "toe in the water" operation.
Both were excellent wet track performers and were held back from last year's Spring Carnival in Melbourne to compete in Sydney.
However, with another successful foray into Australia, the makeup of the Godolphin team in the spring for Melbourne will have "new and old faces coming down under for your races."
"While it was an outstanding success last spring with having stayers on different levels able to win races like the Bendigo and Geelong cups, it occurred to us that there are a lot more races on your calendar outside of the Melbourne Cup and we hope to be a part of them," Appleby said from England.
"Those two horses will come home from Sydney and that was our first real attempt at winning in Sydney and that's come up well so I'm sure we'll be a part of that carnival again next year.
"But as far as Melbourne is concerned, once we get those two horses home from Sydney, we'll see how they pull up and then in late July, we will sit down and make a list of horses that will be coming. There will be new faces and there will be horses that will be suited, perhaps at 1600 metres and 2000 metres. But that has to be all worked out in July."
Another that could well be coming for rich 2000-metre races was recent group 3 Earl Of Sefton placegetter Folkswood, a well thought-of middle distance performer in the Godolphin outfit.
Last year, Godolphin, while not managing to win the Melbourne Cup, was able to successfully win second tier staying races with stayers that were specifically aimed at the likes of Bendigo and Geelong cups.
"Your prize money is excellent and we realise we have some fine staying performers, and if they've got the right attitude to travel to Australia it will be a successful operation," he said.
At present Appleby said that he was currently busy with his two and three-year-old horses that were preparing for the rich English races later in the year and that was the reason he couldn't fly into Australia for Saturday's Sydney Cup.