A Prince Of Arran

Prince Of Arran winning the 2018 Lexus Stakes (Image: Racing Photos)

Prince starts second Cup bid

Despite finishing third in last year's Melbourne Cup, Prince Of Arran still sits outside the field for this year's Caulfield and Melbourne Cups.

It's an all-too-familiar position for the Charlie Fellowes-trained Prince Of Arran, who forced his way into the 2018 Melbourne Cup field by winning the Group 3 Lexus Stakes (2500m) on Derby Day.

Prince Of Arran improved into the placings last start for the first time since that Lexus Stakes triumph when third in the G3 September Stakes (2413m) at Kempton on September 7.

Natasha Eaton oversaw Prince Of Arran's Spring Carnival campaign last season and is alongside the Northern Hemisphere six-year-old ahead of this year's Cup run, which starts in Saturday's $400,000 G2 Ladbrokes Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) at Caulfield.

"We're really happy with him heading into Saturday," Eaton said.

Prince Of Arran finished fourth to Old Persian, a subsequent Canadian Group 1 winner, in the G2 City of Gold (2400m) at Meydan on March 9 before finishing second-last to Cross Counter and Ispolini in the G2 Dubai Gold Cup (3200m) on March 30.

"He ran well in his first (Dubai) race when finishing fourth and then unfortunately he got sick on Dubai World Cup night, so we'll just scrap that one," Eaton said.

WATCH: Natasha Eaton on Prince Of Arran

Fellowes immediately spelled Prince Of Arran after his Dubai illness and provided him with three runs in Britain to condition him for a Melbourne Cup return.

He resumed from an extended break in the G3 Glorious Stakes (2412m) during Glorious Goodwood on August 2, finishing last of five in a race won by Desert Encounter.

"Charlie didn't want to give him a hard time work-wise back home so that's why the Goodwood run he finished fifth (of five) because running him was the equivalent of having three bits of hard work," Eaton said.

He then finished eighth of 22 starters in the £1 million (AUD$1.8m) Ebor Handicap (2785m) at York on August 24 followed by his placing in the September Stakes.

"He ran a fantastic race (in the September Stakes), we're really happy with how he came out of that race and Charlie is delighted with him. He's in great form now and we're really happy with him heading into Saturday," she said.

Prince Of Arran is 29th in the elimination order for the Caulfield Cup and 38th for the Melbourne Cup and it appears increasingly likely he'll need to win a lead-up race to secure a spot in this year's Melbourne Cup field.

The first six horses in saddlecloth order for the Herbert Power Stakes have been handicapped in accordance with their Melbourne Cup weight and therefore if Prince Of Arran wins while sharing topweight with Raheen House, he can expect to receive a much-needed weight penalty from Racing Victoria chief handicapper Greg Carpenter.

The winner of the Herbert Power will be exempt from the ballot for the Caulfield Cup along with Kings Will Dream, Brimham Rocks and Self Sense.


Exempt: Self Sense (David Brideoake)

15: Qafila (David Hayes, Ben Hayes and Tom Dabernig)

24: Glory Days (Bill Thurlow)

28: True Self (Willie Mullins)

29: Prince of Arran (Charlie Fellowes)

30: The Chosen One (Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman)

31: Raheen House (William Haggas)

34: Ventura Storm (David Hayes, Ben Hayes and Tom Dabernig)

36: Steel Prince (Anthony Freedman)

38: Haky (John Hammond)

39: Sully (Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young)

40: Super Titus (David Hayes, Ben Hayes and Tom Dabernig)

=42: Wall of Fire (Ciaron Maher and Ciaron Eustace), Hang Man (Michael Moroney)