Godolphin’s spring carnival touring party is close to being finalised with trainers Charlie Appleby and Saeed Bin Suroor both likely to have horses arrive in Melbourne on the first shipment of international runners.
Appleby has confirmed he will be represented by four horses, including Francis Of Assisi and Qewy, who both raced with success last spring, plus Kidmenever and Folkswood.
Bin Suroor has previously travelled horses on the second shipment to Melbourne but is now likely to have some representation on the first shipment, like Appleby did last year.
The first shipment of internationally-trained runners will start quarantine at Newmarket in England on Thursday and then arrive in Melbourne on September 30.
“We have four entries (for the Melbourne Cup) at the moment and will decide on final plans in coming weeks,” said Bin Suroor.
“Prize Money is guaranteed a run with 55kg, and the plan is to take him out to Australia along with Natural Scenery, who runs at Doncaster on Thursday.
“Winning Story came out of the Ebor in good form, and we will make a decision regarding him and Red Galileo as we get nearer the race.
Francis Of Assisi, rated a $26 chance in Melbourne Cup betting, was given 54kg in both the Melbourne and Caulfield Cup, while Qewy with 53kg and Kidmenever with 50.5kg are further down the scale.
“The weights were pretty much what we expected,” Appleby said.
“The four will go into quarantine later this week and ship out to Australia 14 days later.
“Two of the four we send from my yard have been to Australia before, so that is good experience to have under the belt.
“Kidmenever will probably need to win one of the prep races to get into the Cup, but we’ll give it a shot anyway,” the trainer added.
“I’m looking forward to going down to Australia again, and if we can get one winner, we shall be delighted.”
Appleby has enjoyed great success on two missions to Australia, first in the spring last year and then in the Sydney autumn this year.
Appleby won the Group 1 Sydney Cup with Polarisation and his team last spring won the Bendigo Cup, Geelong Cup, Queen Elizabeth Stakes, Lexus Stakes and Sandown Cup.