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Scottish and Assisi the finale to Appleby's amazing adventure.

Mark Scully in Melbourne Charlie appleby yesterday reflected on an "amazing" Melbourne spring carnival as he prepares to fire his final shots at Flemington tomorrow.

The Godolphin trainer has had a remarkable few weeks, with Qewy winning the Geelong Cup before running fourth in the Melbourne Cup, Oceanographer winning the lexus Stakes and Francis Of assisi running away with the bendigo Cup.

Scottish got the ball rolling with a fine second in the Caulfield Cup three weeks ago, with Second Wave the only one of the Newmarket trainer's five-strong team to have failed to land a blow.

On the final day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival, Scottish will line up in the Group 1 emirates Stakes (5.15) over a mile and a quarter, along with fellow european raider Vadamos, fourth in the Cox plate a fortnight ago, who is also having a second start in australia.

There had been some discussion about whether Scottish would head to the Melbourne Cup instead of the emirates Stakes and, while appleby admitted the potential of Winx running in the shorter race was a factor, the decision ultimately came down to what was best for the horse.

"Scottish has had a nice break after Caulfield and i think dropping back in trip will suit," the trainer said. "it's a competitive race with the likes of Vadamos in there, but if he repeats his Caulfield run he should be bang there.

"it was a career-best in the Caulfield Cup over a mile and a half, but back home he's done all his winning over ten furlongs, so i felt dropping back in trip was the way to go, and the boss agreed.

"We were thrilled to have our two in the Melbourne Cup, along with Saeed bin Suroor's two, and hartnell as well, so we felt able to move our options round."

Star of the carnival Kerrin Mcevoy did the steering at Caulfield but William buick has jetted into Melbourne to do the honours this time, and he also takes the ride on Francis Of assisi in the Group 3 Queen elizabeth Stakes.

a previous Newmarket raider in the bendigo Cup, the luca Cumani-trained Sahara Sun, did subsequently contest the Melbourne Cup, but Francis Of assisi instead tackles this 1m5f event off a longer break.

"Francis Of assisi has come out of the bendigo race in good order," said appleby. "We thought he might be very competitive because he's been leading all the work at Werribee, so we knew he was fit and galloping well, but the manner of the victory surprised us."

Qewy is likely to contest the Group 2 Zipping Classic at Sandown hillside on Saturday week, but appleby admits thoughts have already turned to assembling a team for next year's spring carnival, with The Championships in Sydney in april also on the radar.

"it's been an amazing trip," he said. "Originally, Scottish was bought to come down here for this job, with the other two put on the plane to get a feel for the mile-and-a-half-plus races. They both ran way above expectations and for the pair of them to run themselves into the Melbourne Cup was fantastic.

Memorable moments: Qewy lands the Geelong Cup (top right) while Scottish finishes second in the Caulfield Cup "For Qewy to then run the way he did, putting up a career-best, was great. The team here, led by James Ferguson, have done a fantastic job and it's certainly enticed us to make our way back. "We'll also look at the Sydney Cup with Qewy and maybe find a few others. When you send a team of horses, you get a good feel for things and having the five horses here, it's been like a mini-yard."

appleby added: "The Melbourne Cup is the one race his highness Sheikh Mohammed still wants to get and he's very keen to come back next year with an even stronger team because, on paper, Qewy and Oceanographer were not the strongest we could have sent but they did so well."
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Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Geographic Code:8AUST
Date:Nov 4, 2016
Words:671
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