Wide draw blow for Folkswood at Cranbourne

J A McGrath

Lightly-raced Folkswood has drawn barrier 16 in Sunday's Listed Cranbourne Cup, a race expected to determine his program for the remainder of the Melbourne Spring Carnival.

 The gelding has not run since finishing a disappointing fifth in the G3 Diomed Stakes at Epsom in June, but following a short break, he is ready to make his mark in new surroundings.

Godolphin trainer Charlie Appleby expects Folkswood's excellent tactical speed to be called upon in an attempt to overcome the disadvantage of the wide draw.

"He's got a lot of natural pace, and I think this will stand him in good stead," Appleby said.

"He's by Exceed And Excel, so the fast ground shouldn't worry him, though he wouldn't want any jar in it. Overall, I think he will be perfectly suited to Australian conditions.

"He is a very good worker at home, and his recent track gallop at Werribee, in which he was able to give Kidmenever six lengths start and pick him up, was fairly typical.

"We'll see how he gets on at Cranbourne. I'm hoping he runs a good race, and that will open up options for him.

"He's entered in the G1 Cox Plate, but there is also the G1 Emirates Stakes (the old Mackinnon) at Flemington. Let's see how he goes at the weekend first," he added.

 A maximum of 16 runners will face the starter, and Folkswood's presence has been acknowledged with a double-page spread in the local newspaper and the usual fanfare accorded an international runner at a provincial meeting in Victoria.

 Appleby earned a reputation for his Cup-collecting ways last season in Australia, sending out the winners of the Geelong, Bendigo, Sandown and Sydney Cups.