A representative for Godolphin’s Northern Hemisphere operation has confirmed plans to head down under this Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival targeting the Cox Plate 2016 with the Charlie Appleby-trained British galloper Tryster.
The Irish-bred Shamardal gelding is still lightly-raced for a European six-year-old and is one of two Appleby-trained nominees for the $3 million Group 1 W.S. Cox Plate (2040m) that runs at Moonee Valley Racecourse on October 22.
Appleby’s other hopeful is Scottish, a $51 chance in futures Cox Plate odds at Ladbrokes.com.au.
A consistent Teofilo gelding, Scottish was last seen running second to Royal Artillery in the Group 3 Rose Of Lancaster Stakes (2011m) as the beaten favourite at Haydock Park on August 6.
Stablemate Tryster meanwhile raced at Arlington in the USA on August 13 but could only manage to finish eighth behind Mondialiste in the Grade 1 Arlington Million Stakes (2011m).
That was his third loss on the trot, his last win being in the Group 1 Jebel Hatta (1800m) in Dubai back in early March, with jockey William Buick getting caught wide without cover leading up to the three and a half-length loss.
After that elite level success Tryster finished third in the prestigious Group 1 Dubai Turf (1800m) a fortnight later behind Real Steel, the firmer tracks at Meydan a better suit than the soft Ascot course on June 15 when Tryster finished fifth to My Dream Boat in the Group 1 Prince Of Wales’s Stakes (2012m).
He is paying $41 in all-in Cox Plate betting and this week Godolphin’s chief executive John Ferguson confirmed the team were eyeing a run in Australasia’s weight-for-age championship over the horse’s pet distance where he can come from behind and storm home late.
“Last Saturday was unfortunate as he couldn’t get any cover and get dropped in from his draw but he still ran a decent race,” Ferguson told Racing Victoria.
“We know he loves travelling and you only need to look at his form to see that.
“He had a wonderful winter in the UK on the all-weather tracks in 2015 but he is equally effective on turf, and it was just a shame for him that the ground went against him at Royal Ascot.
“He is a real Meydan specialist and he does like it there.
“He will probably be back there next [Dubai World Cup] Carnival, but the Cox Plate is a race which should suit him and that is where we are looking now.
“We will see how he is once he settles in back with Charlie but the Cox Plate looks likely to be his next main target.”
Cox Plate favourite is last year’s winning mare Winx ($2.70) who makes her new-season debut at Randwick Racecourse in Sydney on Saturday.
Chris Waller’s champion daughter of Street Cry is odds-on to win first-up in the Group 2 Warwick Stakes (1400m) and was on Thursday night crowned the NSW Horse of the Year.
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