Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 18 September 2020

CORONAVIRUS

Godolphin trainers Charlie Appleby and Saeed bin Suroor will not be entering Melbourne Carnival due to coronavirus concerns

Racing Victoria announce duo have ruled out sending runners to Australia this year

Kerrin McEvoy guides Cross Counter to victory at the 2018 Melbourne Cup. Getty
Kerrin McEvoy guides Cross Counter to victory at the 2018 Melbourne Cup. Getty

Charlie Appleby and Saeed bin Suroor have informed Racing Victoria they will not be sending runners to Melbourne this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Both Godolphin trainers have been well represented at the Spring Carnival in previous years, with Appleby winning the Melbourne Cup with Cross Counter in 2018 while Bin Suroor, who has saddled three Cup seconds, sent Benbatl to be beaten just two lengths by the great Winx in the Cox Plate the same year.

However, RV general manager of international operations Paul Bloodworth has confirmed both trainers have signalled their intention to bypass Melbourne this year, with Covid-19 restrictions recently increased in the area.

He told www.racing.com: "Both Saeed and Charlie have advised over the last few days that they won't be coming to Melbourne this year.

"Charlie Appleby advised last night that because of the change to Stage 4 restrictions, he wasn't comfortable sending his staff to Melbourne and Saeed has also advised he won't be coming.

"It's a great shame. Saaed has been a regular in Australia for 30 years and Charlie certainly over the last five or six years, so it's a shame they won't be able to compete."

RV executive general manager of racing, Greg Carpenter, said it was hoped Godolphin would still have a solid spring presence through their Australian horses.

"It's disappointing that Charlie and Saeed haven't got entries but we should remember that the royal blue of the Godolphin stable will still be represented, Carpenter said.

"They have got a strong list of [Cox Plate] entries from their domestic front including Avilius, Colette – they have also nominated a former European horse in Munitions.

"While we won't be having the overseas training arm of Godolphin with us ... we are very hopeful that Godolphin will still have [spring] runners."

Goldolphin trainer Charlie Appleby with the Melbourne Cup. Leslie Pableo for The National 
Goldolphin trainer Charlie Appleby with the Melbourne Cup. Leslie Pableo for The National

Updated: August 4, 2020 02:35 PM

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