English trainer Charlie Appleby has confirmed that last start Cranbourne Cup winner Folkswood will face off against champion mare Winx in the Group 1 $3m Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m) at The Valley on Saturday.
Folkswood has had one run in Australia and carried the Godolphin royal blue colours to victory in the Listed $300,000 Cranbourne Cup (2025m) at Cranbourne on October 15 while Winx is chasing her twenty-second straight win and her third consecutive victory in the Ladbrokes Cox Plate.
Appleby said that the reports he is receiving at his Newmarket base in England from his men looking after Folkswood at the Werribee International Horse Centre are all good and the five year old gelding has pulled up in great shape following his Cranbourne Cup win.
“He has pleased our team down at Werribee, doing a bit of easy work there on Saturday,” Appleby said.
“It is a big challenge to be coming up against Winx, but Folkswood is an improving young horse, who deserves his chance to be running in a race such as the Cox Plate.”
The lightly raced Folkswood is the winner of four of his thirteen starts and his only outing in Group 1 company results in a second to Decorated Knight in the Group 1 US$300,000 Jebel Hatta (1800m) at Meydan in Dubai on March 4 earlier in the year.
Folkswood is currently listed at $17 for the Ladbrokes Cox Plate at Ladbrokes.com.au and will be only one of a handful of runners to line up against the Chris Waller trained super mare Winx who is the $1.16 favourite.
Winx has strung together twenty-one consecutive wins, her last two at Group 1 level in the $500,000 Colgate Optic White Stakes (George Main Stakes) (1600m) at Randwick on September 16 and in the $500,000 Seppelt Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on October 7.
The unstoppable mare is lining up for her twenty-second straight win and a third consecutive Ladbrokes Cox Plate victory after demolishing her rivals in the 2015 and 2016 runnings of ‘The Weight For Age Championship’.
Early market order for the 2017 Ladbrokes Cox Plate at Ladbrokes.com.au: $1.16 Winx, $17 Folkswood, Gailo Chop, Happy Clapper, $21 Royal Symphony, $34 Aloisia, Humidor, Johannes Vermeer, The Taj Mahal, $41 Bonneval, $51 or better the rest.