Godolphin raiders first and third at Geelong
Another potential Melbourne Cup winner has emerged from the G3 Geelong Cup with the victory of Qewy who turned in a superb staying performance to secure a memorable success.
In a driving finish, Qewy (Charlie Appleby/Kerrin McEvoy) held off another UK visitor Grey Lion to win by a long head.
The winner’s stablemate Oceanographer ran on strongly to finish third, a further three-quarters of a length away.
“We came over to get the job done and have winners and we’ve done it,” said assistant trainer James Ferguson.
“It’s great for His Highness Sheikh Mohammed to have a winner and brilliant for the whole team.”
While the Geelong Cup is a comparatively modest prize to travel across the world for, it is a race with a tradition of turning out Melbourne Cup winner, having produced Dunaden, American and Media Puzzle in the past 15 years.
And the win has qualified Qewy for a run in the A$6 million race run at Flemington on November 1.
For McEvoy the win renewed memories of his victory on the visiting Godolphin runner All The Good in the 2008 G1 Caulfield Cup.
His ride drew praise from Ferguson who described it as “an absolute gem”.
“The horse stays all day and he was given a beautiful ride,” Ferguson said.
McEvoy drew on his vast experience of European stayers, taking Qewy to the front and judging the pace to perfection.
“I knew I had to get him mobile, get him warmed and get him into the race,” McEvoy said.
“But it’s full credit to the horse. He probably lacks a quick change of gear but he’s genuine and honest and he just keeps picking up.”
Qewy’s best – and most recent - win on the flat was in a Listed race at Leopardstown in April 2014.
Since then he has raced mostly over jumps, but showed he was still a force with a slashing last-start second over 2800 at Royal Ascot in June.
The Geelong Cup win followed the second placing of the Appleby-trained Scottish in last Saturday’s G1 Caulfield Cup.