Avilius after winning the Ranvet Stakes (Image: Bradley Photos)

Godolphin Plate hopes with naturalised locals

Godolphin has prepared placegetters behind Winx in the past two Cox Plates and horses with a mix of formlines have been sourced to try and provide the global racing giant with their first win in the race.

Godolphin has nominated 12 horses for the $5 million Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m), led by naturalised locals Avilius and Hartnell, who require no introduction.

Charlie Appleby, who had Folkswood win the 2017 Cranbourne Cup before finishing third in the Cox Plate a fortnight later, has no horses among this year's Cox Plate nominations.

The 2017 G1 St James's Palace Stakes winner Barney Roy was touted as a possible traveller for Appleby but suffered a training setback last week.

Saeed Bin Suroor trained last year's runner-up Benbatl and has two runners among the nominations - Dream Castle and Mountain Hunter.

The pair won multiple races during this year's Dubai World Cup Carnival at Meydan, with Dream Castle claiming three races including the G1 Jebel Hatta (1800m), but their form has deteriorated since returning to Europe.

"It's fair to say they (Dream Castle and Mountain Hunter) are not in the same league as a horse like Benbatl, certainly from a ratings perspective," said Paul Bloodworth, Racing Victoria's General Manager of International and Racing Operations.

"Saeed (Bin Suroor) when we met him at Newmarket a couple of weeks ago was very keen to come back, he was confident Dream Castle would turn his form around in the next couple of starts so he's probably the most likely of his pair (to race in the Cox Plate)."

WATCH: Dream Castle win the 2019 Jebel Hatta

Apart from Avilius and Hartnell, Godolphin's Australian head trainer James Cummings has older horses Best Of Days and Pohutukawa nominated but that pair are arguably more recognised for their efforts over the mile.

Four new-season three-year-olds - Athiri, Bivouac, Flit and Tenley - are listed while two names of particular interest are Cascadian and Wren's Day. Both will transfer from the French stables of Andre Fabre, who was the original trainer of Avilius, and are yet to make their Australian debuts for Cummings.

Cascadian has raced six times for three wins and two seconds - including his short-neck defeat in the 2018 G1 Prix Jean Prat (1600m) at Deauville, the three-year-old straight-track feature race won by Intellogent.

Cascadian ended his European stint on a sour note, well beaten into eighth in the G1 Prix Jacques Le Marois (1600m) at Deauville behind European champion filly Alpha Centauri. Cascadian reportedly experienced 'minor health glitches' during his three-year-old season.

WATCH: Cascadian runner-up in 2018 Prix Jean Prat

Wren's Day, like Cascadian, has raced just six times for one win, which came at Saint-Cloud on debut in April 2017.

He was placed in two of his next three starts in mid-range three-year-old conditions races before producing the race of his life as a pacemaker in the G1 Prix Ganay (2100m) at ParisLongchamp, runner-up as a $25 chance to Cracksman in April 2018.

Wren's Day finished ahead of dual Arc placegetter and stablemate Cloth Of Stars as well as Coolmore's Group 1-winning mare Rhododendron and subsequent Melbourne Cup fourth placegetter Finche.

WATCH: Wren's Day finish runner-up in 2018 Prix Ganay

Wren's Day's only run since the Ganay saw him lead and then fade to finish last (later promoted to second-last following the disqualification of runner-up Subway Dancer) behind stablemate Talismanic in the G3 Prix Gontaut-Biron on August 15.

Wren's Day won a 900-metre trial at Rosehill on Tuesday by a head, ahead of Rock.


Athiri ($101)

Avilius ($6)

Best of Days ($51)

Bivouac ($51)

Cascadian ($101)

Dream Castle ($101)

Flit ($51)

Hartnell ($11)

Mountain Hunter ($101)

Pohutukawa ($51)

Tenley ($101)

Wren's Day ($51)