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Godolphin confirm Scottish raid on Aussie prize

"DSC01562.JPG" (CC BY 2.0) by Bradii

The Caulfield Cup in mid-October is now very much on the agenda for the Godolphin-owned Scottish, trainer Charlie Appleby has confirmed. The boys in blue snapped up the promising four-year-old Teofilo colt earlier this year from the yard of Andrew Balding before moving him to Appleby's Moulton Paddocks base in Newmarket.

No secret was made of the fact that the preferred destination for Scottish would eventually be Australia and his most recent win at York has effectively booked his plane ticket. While the trainer admits he won't have done enough to get a spot in the Cox Plate line-up, the Caulfield Cup is already being deemed a suitable alternative. The 2,400-metre contest on October 15 beckons and, given his strong record at the distance and the confirmation from connections that he is Australia-bound, it is no surprise that Scottish has assumed his prominent position in the betting for the Group 1 heat.

Of course, a strong run at Caulfield could gain Scottish a shot at the big one, the Emirates Melbourne Cup at Flemington two weeks later. Since making an inauspicious debut at Nottingham in late 2014, Scottish has earned himself a reputation for being a model of consistency. He won his maiden at Newbury and ran three strong races in finishing runner-up either side of that success.

Most notably, he was denied at Goodwood in the Group 3 Gordon Stakes by Aidan O'Brien's top drawer performer Highland Reel - now a Group 1 winner on three continents. His final start for Balding brought a Listed race win at Ayr before Godolphin stepped in and switched their new acquisition into the care of Appleby at Newmarket.

A satisfactory seasonal bow at Sandown was followed with a stylish success at Newbury in the listed Bet365 Stakes in July. There he had the likes of Trip To Paris and GM Hopkins well held in behind and the dream of Australia was moving ever closer.

A bold attempt to win from the front in the Rose Of Lancaster Stakes at Haydock in August was foiled close to home by John Gosden's Royal Artillery and, for a short while, plans were put on hold.

"York Racecourse" (CC BY-SA 2.0) by Neil T

Appleby took aim at York with the hope of finding out one way or another whether or not his charge was going to show the spark required to make the long journey to Australia seem worthwhile.

Victory in the Group 3 Strensall Stakes on the Knavesmire was the perfect tonic and left Appleby in no doubts as to his next move. Post-race, the Godolphin handler reiterated that Scottish had been purchased solely with an Australian campaign in mind.

Appleby also flagged the fact that the sole defeat suffered by Scottish at the 2,400-metre trip he would encounter at Caulfield on October 15 came at the hands of the outstanding Highland Reel.

Little wonder then that Godolphin intends on making good on the long-planned assault on some of the key races Down Under as the 2016 flat season in Britain begins to wind down and the international raiders turn their eyes towards Australia's biggest races.


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