Godolphin trainer Charlie Appleby still plans to run last years Queen Elizabeth Stakes winner in the Caulfield Cup despite an injury sustained on the flight from England which raised questions over his form.
The eight-year-old “gave himself a little, superficial knock” on the plane into Melbourne on Saturday but was “all systems go” around the track at the Werribee quarantine centre on Tuesday morning, Appleby’s travelling foreman Chris Connett told RSN927.
Francis Of Assisi won the Group Three Bendigo Cup and $300,000 Queen Elizabeth Stakes in Victoria last spring but ran eighth of 11 in the Rose of Lancaster Stakes on home turf in August.
“That run up at Haydock wasn’t obviously the greatest run but he’s come on in leaps and bounds from that and he just seems to thrive down here in Australia so we’re very happy with him,” Connett said.
He said Appleby was yet to make a decision on a jockey for the $3 million Caulfield Cup, with Kerrin McEvoy on Caulfield Cup favourite Bonneval.
William Buick, who rode Francis Of Assisi to victory at Flemington, was hospitalised after a fall two months ago.
“Hopefully in the next couple of days we’ll sort something out,” Connett said.
Qewy was among the UK trainer’s four arrivals on Saturday with sights set on a back-to-back Geelong Cup win.
Connett said there were no issues with the gelding, who ran fourth in last year’s Melbourne Cup, despite being 13th past the post in August’s Goodwood Cup.
“It was just more of an undulating track and then up against Group One horses off level weights. It might’ve just not been ideal for him,” he said.
“On the look of it, it might be disappointing but we’re happy with him to come back down here and he seems in great order as well.”
Godolphin has fluid plans for handicapper Kidmenever with the Herbert Power Stakes on the cards.