Third past the post to his stablemate Polarisation in the abandoned Sydney Cup a fortnight back, Charlie Appleby’s English raider Penglai Pavilion will don winkers in the rerun on Saturday.
After the tragic fall of Almoonqith in the original $2 million Group 1 Schweppes Sydney Cup (3200m), only a handful of runners continued on to finish the eventual no race at Royal Randwick.
Appleby’s luckless autumn raid continued as his Godolphin-raced stablemates finished first and third before the original Sydney Cup results were voided shortly after.
This weekend the duo return looking to net the same results in the rescheduled edition of the two mile autumn feature that has attracted a new-look capacity field of fourteen stayers plus two emergencies.
Polarisation has Corey Brown aboard again on 51.5kg and drew gate eight, coming into six if the two spares Rock On (3) and Self Sense (4) fail to gain a start by race morning.
Last year’s Sydney Cup winning hoop Kerrin McEvoy is on Monsun seven-year-old Penglai Pavilion who Appleby is hoping will be more focused with the gear change for ‘take two’.
“It is not questioning his genuineness, it is more a matter of helping him to focus. We tried them on him a couple of days ago and he reacted favourably,” the Newmarket-based horseman explained on the Godolphin website.
A dour stayer, Penglai Pavilion has winning form up to 4220m in Europe and proved the two miles was an ideal distance with his performance on April 8.
Both horses came through the shambolic first run in good order and were on track to perform again on the weekend sitting prominently in the Sydney Cup odds at Ladbrokes.com.au led by the Darren Weir-trained Big Duke once again.
“Both lost a minimal amount of weight, and they ate up well afterwards,” Appleby said.
“[Assistant trainer] James Ferguson and the team on the ground in Sydney have been very happy with them, and we expect both to acquit themselves well on Saturday.
“If the ‘on his game’ Penglai Pavilion turns up, he has the class to go very close. Polarisation, on the other hand, wears his heart on his sleeve. He is tough and genuine, and he stays very well.”
Penglai Pavilion jumps from the outside barrier (16 into 14) and if successful will see him be the first from outside of gate eleven since Daacha (18 of 18) back in 1995.
Polarisation meanwhile passed a veterinarian check on Tuesday that cleared the Echo Of Light gelding to take part this weekend after he was found to have heat in his off-fore fetlock.
The bookies are taking no chances with one of the new Sydney Cup horses Lasqueti Spirit with Lee Curtis’s Crown Oaks winner out to be the first three-year-old to win since Tie The Knot for his first back in 1998.
Lasqueti Spirit, coming off the ATC Oaks third from Day 2 of ‘The Championships’, drew barrier ten and will start from eight with the emergencies out with Bobby El-Issa in the saddle.