Next year’s Cox Plate is on the radar for Scottish with the Charlie Appleby-trained Caulfield Cup runner-up forced out of the Emirates Stakes with a sprained fetlock.
The Godolphin-owned Scottish, one of five Appleby-trained horses in Melbourne for the spring, hurt his leg on the eve of Saturday’s $2 million Emirates Stakes (2000m) at Flemington won by Awesome Rock.
“It was a minor setback and unfortunate it happened when it did,” Appleby said.
“We’ll ship him back to Dubai with the rest of the horses and he’ll hopefully campaign there during the winter,” Appleby said.
“The long-term vision is to hopefully get over here for the Cox Plate.”
Appleby is hoping Scottish can secure an invitation to the 2017 Cox Plate at Moonee Valley.
Appleby’s runners for Sheikh Mohammed have had a successful few weeks in Victoria with Qewy winning the Geelong Cup, Francis Of Assisi winning the Bendigo Cup and Queen Elizabeth Stakes while Oceanogpraher won the Lexus Stakes.
Qewy ran fourth in the Melbourne Cup while Oceanographer was unplaced in Australia’s richest race, three days after his Lexus win.
Qewy is scheduled to run again on Saturday in the Sandown Cup (3200m) and his English trainer is hoping the team can sign off with one more winner.
“Hopefully we’ve got one more roll of the dice, all being well, with Qewy in the Sandown Cup,” Appleby said.
Appleby said his first visit to Australia had been a testing of the waters.
“It’s been a great learning curve for us,” he said.
“We couldn’t have asked for it to go any better. Unfortunately it just raises the bar a little bit for us for next season when we pitch up.
“Let’s just hope we can perform as well. If we can do as well next year as we have this year we’ll all be delighted.”
Appleby could also be represented in Sydney during the autumn.
“Qewy is a horse we might look at something like the Sydney Cup with him,” he said.