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Trainer hoping the Prince is a jolly good fellow

4 min read
Newmarket trainer Charlie Fellowes is hoping his Melbourne Cup plans fall into place with well-travelled stayer, A Prince Of Arran.

A plan many months in the making will face the ultimate test on Saturday when Charlie Fellowes steps A Prince Of Arran (GB) (Shirocco) out at Flemington.

The Newmarket trainer is almost certain to start the 5-year-old in the G3 Lexus S., in a bid to realise a dream spot in the following Tuesday’s G1 Melbourne Cup.

Fellowes has already extensively travelled A Prince Of Arran in a bid to nail down a spot for the Flemington feature and it’s going right to the wire with the stayer currently 29th in order of entry.

“We were hoping to sit tight and not run on Saturday, but my gut feeling is we won’t get in the big one if we don’t.” – Charlie Fellowes.

“We were hoping to sit tight and not run on Saturday, but my gut feeling is we won’t get in the big one if we don’t,” he said.

“The horse is really well and galloped on Wednesday morning and went nicely. He’s done well since he ran a huge race a couple of weeks ago.”

A Prince Of Arran finished third in his Australian debut in the G2 Herbert Power S., behind the current Melbourne Cup favourite Yucatan (IRE) (Galileo {IRE}).

“We got trapped on the fence when the race was developing on the outside and we got out too late.” – Charlie Fellowes.

“We got trapped on the fence when the race was developing on the outside and we got out too late,” Fellowes said.

“Flemington will really suit him, much more suitable than Caulfield.”

Fellowes started getting serious about a return to Australia – he spent a year working for Lee Freedman a decade ago – back in January.

“The owner is from Dubai and we took the horse over there in January,” he said. “The staying races don’t normally have big fields and he ran second first-up and after he won his second start we started thinking about coming down.

American hit and run

“That’s when we hatched the plan and the best way of getting him qualified. That’s why we went to America for the Belmont Gold Cup.

“He needed to run in the first three and he managed to do that.

“He came back with a rating of 108, which still wasn’t high enough and conditions in England don’t suit him all that well. He likes quick ground so we ran him in the Northumberland Plate.”

Charlie Fellowes

A Prince Of Arran finished runner-up under 59.5kg to Withhold (GB) (Champs Elysees {GB}), who was in receipt of two kilos.

“He went a massive race with the big weight from an awful draw.” - Charlie Fellowes.

“He went a massive race with the big weight from an awful draw,” Fellowes said. “That got his rating up to 111 and we were in business.”

Should A Prince Of Arran come up short in his bid for a G1 Melbourne Cup berth, his trainer already has Plan B in place.

“If he gets beaten on Saturday there’s still the Queen Elizabeth at Flemington the following weekend and that’s worth a lot of money,” he said.

“It’s a perfectly good alternative for him if we miss out on the big one.”

Newmarket base

Fellowes trains out of St Gatien Cottage Stables in Newmarket and he’s enjoying his return to Australia while there is something of a lull in proceedings at home.

“We’ve got 40 in work at the moment, we had far more earlier in the season, but it’s the end of the year and a lot of them have gone for holidays so it’s much quieter now,” he said.

However, it won’t be on Saturday and there will be roars from afar if A Prince Of Arran can claim top honours in the Lexus and execute the long-term plan of a Melbourne Cup berth.

St Gatien Cottage Stables