The impressive spring carnival form of Godolphin trainer Charlie Appleby’s team has continued with Francis Of Assisi making a one-act affair of the $300,000 Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
Francis Of Assisi won the Bendigo Cup last month in his first Victorian appearance and he added Saturday’s Group Three race at Flemington, beating Vengeur Masque by 10 lengths.
Appleby, who trains for Sheikh Mohammed’s Godolphin operation in England and Dubai, said Francis Of Assisi had thrived in Australia.
He said Francis Of Assisi was initially leading out stablemates Scottish, Qewy and Oceanographer in trackwork before he got his chance in the Bendigo Cup.
“The horses have all done well and have all backed up well but this horse you could just see, mentally, he was just thriving,” Appleby said.
“Because when you’re doing the sort of work he does at home, having those decent horses looming up alongside you every morning, once he got his own head in front and won his own race in the Bendigo Cup he thought he was King Kong.”
This spring is the first time Appleby has had horses in Melbourne.
“It’s been a great learning curve. We couldn’t have asked for it to go any better,” Appleby said.
Scottish was second in the $3 million Caulfield Cup and was ruled out of Saturday’s Emirates Stakes because of a sprained fetlock.
Qewy won the Geelong Cup, was fourth in the Melbourne Cup and is scheduled to run in the Sandown Cup next Saturday, while Oceanographer was third at Geelong and won the Lexus Stakes before being unplaced in the Melbourne Cup.
Second Wave was unplaced in the Moonee Valley Cup.
Buick made the trip to Australia to ride Scottish in the Emirates but still managed to get his first Flemington winner.