Francis Of Assisi ran away from his rivals to record a dominant victory in the 2016 Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Flemington this afternoon.
Francis Of Assisi was a big drifter in the lead-up to the Queen Elizabeth Stakes, but he always travelled like the winner as he trailed the well-backed Tom Melbourne into the race.
William Buick asked Francis Of Assisi for an extra effort at the top of the straight and he quickly ran past Tom Melbourne before he raced away from his rivals to record a dominant 10 lengths victory.
Buick made the trip to Australia to ride Scottish in the Group 1 Emirates Stakes (2000m) and he missed that ride due to Scottish’s injury, but he was delighted to deliver Godolphin another big race win in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
“It is great to be back,” Buick said.
“The team have done a fantastic job done here and I am just very glad that I can keep the run going and be a part of it.
“He obviously won very easy.
“There was a very big headwind in the straight, so I tried to hold him up a bit but he quickened the whole way and he has a lot of class.
“I am back home tonight, but hopefully I will be back again.
Francis Of Assisi was used as a training partner for the likes of Scottish, Qewy and Oceanographer before their major spring assignments and trainer Charlie Appleby has been surprised with just how well the Danehill Dancer gelding has performed in Australia.
“This horse came down here and was leading all the work,” Appleby said.
“We always had the plan to run him, but he led all the main work before his run in the Bendigo Cup.
“Going into the Bendigo Cup we thought he was a horse with a live shot and he ran better than what we expected.
“The horses have all done well from their runs and they have all backed up well, but this horse is thriving.
“We couldn’t be even more pleased.”
Vengeur Masque produced another solid performance and looks as though he will be a better horse in 12 months’ time, while Tom Melbourne toughed it out for third after taking up the running in the early stages of the race.