2017 Melbourne Cup Likely for Polarisation

After effectively winning the Sydney Cup “twice”, Charlie Appleby’s English raider Polarisation is likely to return down under in the spring for a shot at the iconic Melbourne Cup 2017.

Francis Of Assisi

Stablemate of Sydney Cup winner Polarisation, Francis Of Assisi (pictured at Flemington) is favourite for the 2017 Melbourne Cup this spring. Photo: Steve Hart.

The Echo Of Light gelding, raced by the powerhouse Godolphin operation, and jockey Corey Brown won both the voiced first edition of the Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) as well as the re-run over the weekend.

Polarisation was one of a handful of horses not pulled up on April 8 when the fall of Almoonqith and Who Shot Thebarman forced stewards to controversially abandon the two-mile classic for safety reasons.

Brown was unimpressed with the call, but atoned a fortnight later guiding the dour Polarisation to a narrow short-neck win over the honest Chris Waller-trained Who Shot Thebarman in the second edition at Royal Randwick.

“They can’t take it off us this time,” Brown said post-win on Saturday.

“If they want to run this race a third time, he would win it again.

“I told them they should have left it a fortnight ago because it’s going to be the same result so this is very satisfying.

“Obviously with all the media and the drama of a fortnight ago, to come out again and I wouldn’t say defy all odds, but the history of it, I felt everything was working against us.

“It is a big relief and to do in these famous royal blue colours of Godolphin is a dream come true.”

Appleby’s assistant James Ferguson was thrilled with the official Sydney Cup result, quickly suggesting Polarisation would be back in Australia chasing a rare two mile double later in the year.

“[Polarisation] ran a personal best yesterday, he got into a dogfight and came out on top,” Ferguson told RSN on Sunday.

“He’s definitely deserved his spot [back in Australia during the spring].”

The world’s richest handicap race, the famous $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) takes place at Flemington Racecourse on the first Tuesday of November.

Makybe Diva (2004) was the last galloper to win both two mile classics in the same calendar year and before her punters need to go back to Carbine (1890) to find the other most recent winner of the double.

“He’s proven that he suits Australian racing more than he suits English racing,” Ferguson added.

“The way he won, you’d almost have to bring him back for a Melbourne Cup.

“But he’s had two hard races in a row, so we’ll take him home, and we won’t worry about a future just yet.

“We’ll see how he is when he gets back, and if he’s fit and well and giving us all the right signs when it comes to choosing our Melbourne Cup team, then we’ll definitely bring him back.”

Protectionist (2014) was the last internationally-trained Melbourne Cup winner, Andreas Wohler’s German galloper winning the edition marred by the death of the Japanese-trained favourite Admire Rakti.

Appleby meanwhile had Qewy representing him in last season’s Melbourne Cup, the Geelong Cup winner finishing fourth behind the Lloyd Williams-raced Almandin.

Current all-in Melbourne Cup markets at Ladbrokes.com.au have the reigning Sydney Cup winner Polarisation listed as a $26 chance.

Stablemate Francis Of Assisi is the early $15 Melbourne Cup favourite having saluted in the Group 3 Bendigo Cup (2400m) and Group 3 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2600m) by a combined margin of 13 lengths during the Victorian Spring Racing Carnival last year.

About The Author

Lucy Henderson

Lucy is an experienced horse racing journalist that has been a crucial member of the horseracing.com.au team for the better part of a decade. She has taken great delight in covering champion mares Black Caviar and Winx throughout their careers and always has a soft spot for a winning filly.

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