The Godolphin runners It’s Somewhat and Folkswood add a large measure of international class to an Emirates Stakes at Flemington that is set to provide a fitting G1 finale to the Australian spring.
It’s Somewhat (James Cummings/Craig Williams), a Stakes winner in England and winner of the G1 Doncaster Mile in Sydney, comes to the race off a third placing in the G2 Waterford Crystal Mile that confirmed he was close to peak form.
He is joined by the progressive English middle-distance performer Folkswood (Charlie Appleby/Kerrin McEvoy) who followed his Listed Cranbourne Cup win with a third to Winx in the G1 Cox Plate.
For It’s Somewhat, the Emirates comes at a stage of his preparation when he is still on the improve.
“It’s Somewhat arrives here on fresh legs and he’s also very fit, he’s improving physically,” said trainer James Cummings.
“He’s a G1 winner who showed at his last start that he’s approaching that level again. This is a race in which he has the opportunity to grow a leg.
“He held down third really boldly at Moonee Valley and there’s good improvement in the horse and he’s shown he can run a strong 2000m at weight-for-age.”
Folkswood has gone form strength-to-strength in Australia as shown by his brave third behind Winx and Humidor in the country’s best WFA race.
A similar performance on Saturday would put him in the finish.
“Folkswood came out of the Cox Plate in good form and has prepped well going into this race,” said trainer Charlie Appleby.
“A repeat performance of that run will put him bang there in the Emirates.”
Among those opposing the Godolphin pair are the recent G1 winners Happy Clapper, Gailo Chop, Tosen Stardom and New Zealand’s top-ranked galloper Gingernuts.