This year’s Melbourne carnival will take place without the participation of British-trained Godolphin horses due to changes in travel restrictions owing to the coronavirus pandemic.

Racing Victoria confirmed on Tuesday that Charlie Appleby and Saeed bin Suroor had notified the organisation’s officials that they will not be taking part in the meetings this year.

Paul Bloodworth, General Manager of International Operations, said: “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 four 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. Saeed 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.”

Death of Sceptical

Trainer Denis Hogan has been dealt a huge blow after his talented sprinter Sceptical suffered a fatal injury on the gallops on Tuesday.

Having been sourced from the Godolphin draft for just £2,800 by Hogan and owner James McAuley at last year’s Goffs UK August Sale, Sceptical progressed from three wins at Dundalk to landing the Listed Woodlands Stakes at Naas in June.

That performance led connections to step the four-year-old up to Group 1 company and he duly finished third in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot and second in the July Cup last month.

In a tweet, Hogan said: “We have been dealt a devastating, cruel blow at Boherna this morning with the loss of our superstar sprinter Sceptical. He was a horse of a lifetime and a game changer for my training career.”

Today’s racing

There are jumps fixtures from Newton Abbot, Wexford and Sligo while Ayr and Lingfield host Flat meetings.