English Godolphin trainer Charlie Appleby will make his first appearance in Melbourne this spring to saddle his runners in two stakes races.
Appleby made regular trips from England to Australia for last year’s spring carnival and saddled five winners from 10 runners.
With four horses in Melbourne this year in the care of Chris Connett, the Appleby stable has won the Bendigo Cup with Qewy and the Cranbourne Cup with Folkswood who was also third behind Winx in the Cox Plate at Moonee Valley.
Appleby will saddle Folkswood in Saturday’s Group One Emirates Stakes with Qewy attempting to win the Group Three Queen Elizabeth Stakes, a race won last year by the Appleby-trained Francis Of Assisi.
Appleby’s presence doesn’t bode well for jockey Damian Lane who rides Kiwia in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
Lane was aboard the Darren Weir-trained Kiwia when he ran second to Qewy in the Bendigo Cup and said it would be a tough task to overturn the result.
“Qewy was tough in the Bendigo Cup and I think if the race was another lap I wouldn’t have got past him,” Lane said.
“He really kept pulling something out every time I got closer to him.
“If I get a kinder run than him on the day, you never know.”
While Lane thinks it will be tough to beat Qewy over the extra 200m, he believes the gelding is a stayer of the future.
“He’s had 11 starts for six wins and only missed a place once,” Lane said.
“He’s building a good record and is a very promising horse and I’m sure we’ll see more of him in the future.”
Qewy is favourite at $3.60 to make his Australian record read three wins from four starts while Kiwia, who was sent out favourite at Bendigo, is the $4.60 third pick on Saturday with Gallic Chieftain ($4.20) separating the pair.