Some time ago I wrote a preprint (this one: http://arxiv.org/abs/1002.2651) that contains one main result (Theorem 2.2.1(1)) and several applications for it. Most of the applications could be deduced from the main result automatically using the methods developed in my previous papers.
Now I submitted the preprint, and the referee says: the main result is quite nice, but he does not want me to repeat much of the previous papers; so I should make the 'applications' part much shorter. I don't object against making the paper shorter; yet a reader that knows nothing about my previous work will probably not understand why the main result is important. So, I would like to mention the applications somehow.
Now my main question is: what could be the best way to do this? The referee wants the paper to be really short; so is it reasonable to make a list of applications and ask the readers to read the details in the references? Can I make a reference to the preprint version of the paper (which would be longer)?