English raider Folkswood is holding on to favouritism for the Group 1 $2m Emirates Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on Saturday.
The Charlie Appleby trained Folkswood sits at the top of the market order at $5 with Ladbrokes.com.au in the Emirates Stakes field that been reduced to thirteen runners with the withdrawal of Tom Melbourne this morning.
The Chris Waller trained Tom Melbourne was reported to be suffering some lameness in the off side front leg when he joined the Robert Hickmott trained Sir Isaac Newton as a non-runner in the $2m weight for age contest.
High class Kiwi galloper Gingernuts has had plenty of support in the betting and is challenging Folkswood for favouritism at $5.50 while The Darren Weir trained three year old Cliff’s Edge is also well in contention at $6.
Folkswood has had two runs in Australia for a win in the Listed $300,000 Cranbourne Cup (2025m) at Cranbourne on October 15 and then stepped up several levels to run third behind Winx and Humidor in the Group 1 $3m Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m) at The Valley on October 28.
All reports out of the Appleby camp are that Folkswood has pulled up in great style and is ready to tackle another Spring Carnival Group 1.
“We couldn’t be happier with him,” Appleby’s travelling foreman Chris Connett said.
“He came out of the race (Cox Plate) very well and he did his last serious gallop on Saturday.
“She (Winx) is a superb mare and running against her is kind of like knocking your head up against a brick wall.
“We would’ve taken our chance and tried our best but it does make it easier (that she’s not in the race).”
Kerrin McEvoy gets the ride again on Folkswood after partnering him at Cranbourne and in the Cox Plate and the Exceed And Excel five year old will have to jump from the outside of the thirteen horse Emirates Stakes field.