Optimism over Scottish chances
Charlie Appleby feels the BMW Caulfield Cup presents Scottish with a good opportunity of picking up a top prize when lines-up in the Group One handicap Down Under on Saturday.
Charlie Appleby (left): Trainer of Scottish.
The Newmarket trainer reports the Godolphin-owned four-year-old, who won the Group Three Strensall Stakes at York on his latest start, to be in prime condition for the Australian showpiece over a mile and half.
"The Group One Cox Plate might have been considered ideal, but he is not currently rated high enough officially," Appleby told www.godolphin.com.
"But the Caulfield Cup gives him a great opportunity to win a major, particularly as he is still on the improve, and he has a competitive weight.
"Scottish has done very well, and we hope for the best at Caulfield on Saturday."
Scottish, who will be ridden by Kerrin McEvoy, appears to have a good draw in stall seven while Godolphin's other runner Tally is out wide in gate 19.
His trainer John O'Shea said: "It was a bit of a blow when barrier 19 came out, but he has been set for one race.
"He'll roll forward and we'll know our fate in the first 400 metres, but as far as the horse goes, everything is in order and he is where we wanted him to be."
Aidan O'Brien bids for this prestigious prize with Sir Isaac Newton, who has taken on the best in Ascot's King George, the Juddmonte International and the Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown following victories at a lower level at Royal Ascot and the Curragh.
German trainer Andreas Wohler saddles Articus, who is the least experienced horse in the field with nine starts.
Exospheric, formerly trained by Sir Michael Stoute when he was named Exosphere, has his first start for Lee and Anthony Freedman.
Winner of the Jockey Club Stakes at Newmarket in April, the four-year-old was last seen finishing fifth behind Postponed in the Juddmonte International.