Cox Plate Form to Hold Up in Emirates

By Dane Squance

Charlie Appleby’s Folkswood (GB) (Exceed And Excel {Aus}) who finished a gallant third behind Winx (Aus) (Street Cry {Ire}) in the G1 Cox Plate (2040m) on Oct. 28, has proven in his two Australian runs that he is capable of capturing the Emirates S. (2000m), the final Group 1 of the Flemington Cup carnival.

With 12 top three finishes from 14 starts including a second in the G1 Jebel Hatta (1800m) on Mar. 4 behind the recently retired, and multiple Group 1 winner Decorated Knight (GB) (Galileo {Ire}), Folkswood’s victory in the Listed Cranbourne Cup (2025) on Oct. 15 was impressive and should see him right in the finish here.

Taking fifth in the Cox Plate was the Darren Weir-trained Gailo Chop (Fr) (Deportivo {GB}) off the back of victory in the G1 Caulfield S. (2000m) on Oct 14, a race where he defeated Johannes Vermeer (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}), with that runner going on to take third in the G1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) before a close second to Rekindling (GB) (High Chaparral {Ire}) in the G1 Melbourne Cup (3200m). A winner of the G1 Emirates S. (2000m) in 2015 when trained by Antoine de Watrigant, Gailo Chop had finished over 12 lengths behind Winx in that year’s G1 Cox Plate the start prior.

G1 New Zealand Derby (2400m) winner Gingernuts (NZ) (Iffraaj {GB}) was originally heading to Australia for the G1 Caulfield Cup, but after a race postponement in his homeland, the 4-year-old has his plans changed.

Perennial bridesmaid Tom Melbourne (Ire) (Dylan Thomas {Ire}) has recorded five second placed efforts from his six starts this campaign, and it would be fitting for the Chris Waller-trained gelding to finally break his Group 1 duck in ‘Melbourne’ for his connections.

Darren Weir’s Cliff’s Edge (Aus) (Canford Cliffs {Ire}), the lone 3-year-old in the race targeted the A$1-million contest rather than tackling the Victoria Derby last Saturday, and although thrashed last time out in the G2 Vase by Aloisia (NZ) (Azamour {Ire}) who disappointed in Thursday’s G1 Victoria Oaks (2500m) as the short-priced favourite to finish sixth, the significant weight drop here sees him right in the race.

It’s Somewhat (Dynaformer) has only had two starts this campaign and his pleasing effort over 1600m in the G2 Crystal Mile at Moonee Valley on Oct. 28 should see the James Cummings-trained gelding ready for the 2000m third up.

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