Godolphin trainer Charlie Appleby has the Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) in his sights and will be sending two horses Down Under to tackle the $2 million staying race.
Having tasted success throughout the Melbourne Spring Carnival with the likes of Qewy, Francis Of Assisi and Oceanographer, Appleby is keen to test the waters in Sydney this autumn with some fresh faces.
Penglai Pavilion and Polarisation are being aimed at the Sydney Cup, and it’s their similar profiles to the stable’s successful spring trio that has Appleby convinced they are the right horse to send to Australia.
“Penglai Pavilion has got a nice profile. He finished fifth in the Arc (2013 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe) on the flat … and then went jumping and has returned back to the flat now,” Appleby said.
“Polarisation is similar – he’s a horse that’s a dour stayer and will appreciate the cut in the ground.
“So they are two horses I think are uncomplicated and have the right race style and race programme that will be suited down there.”
Penglai Pavillion is a six-year-old son of Monsun who has won up to 4200m and most recently scored over 3600m at Newmarket with William Buick in the saddle.
Polarisation hasn’t won since 2015 but has run some good races including a runner-up placing to Green Light in the Investec Asset Finance Stakes (2400m).
Appleby will also bring another stayer who will be given a chance to earn a spot in the 2017 Caulfield Cup.
“The third horse is Gold Trail who we’ve had him mapped out for Australia for some time now,” Appleby said.
“He won his last start here in Dubai – come out of the race very well – and the race we’re aiming for is a race called the Mornington Cup.
“Which is a win and you’re into the Caulfield Cup.
“I feel he goes down there as a major player.”
As for Qewy, Francis Of Assisi and Oceanographer, Appleby is hoping to get the trio back to Melbourne in the spring for another crack at the Melbourne Cup.