Connections of Prince Of Arran will be sweating on a Melbourne Cup weight penalty after the English stayer scored a tough win in the Group 3 $400,000 Geelong Cup (2400m) at Geelong today.
Prince Of Arran is currently 36 in the order of entry for the Group 1 $8m Lexus Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on November 5 and will need Racing Victoria’s chief handicapper Greg Carpenter to issue a penalty to push him up the ladder for ‘The Race That Stops A Nation’.
Newmarket trainer Charlie Fellowes brought Prince Of Arran to Australia last year and the tough stayer finished third behind Cross Counter and Marmelo in the 2018 Melbourne Cup and the stable was hoping to get the chance to claim the major prize this year.
Stable representative Tash Eaton was ecstatic after Prince Of Arran ($4.20 favourite) was able to hold out the fast finishing True Self ($4.60) who narrowed the winning margin down to a neck.
French stayer Haky ($26) set the pace and battled on in the straight to claim third spot.
Eaton is keen for Carpenter to increase Prince Of Arron’s Melbourne Cup weight and she added that the seven year old is in the same or better condition than last year.
“He loves Australia and I am just praying that it is enough to get him into the Melbourne Cup,” Eaton said.
“Michael (Walker) said he feels a stronger horse and I agree.”
Michael Walker has Prince Of Arran travelling smoothly in second spot behind the leader and eased over Haky’s heels on the point of the corner to surge to the front.
Walker got a winning break half way down the straight and Prince Of Arran had enough in reserve to keep his Melbourne Cup chances alive.
Bookies at Ladbrokes.com.au have shortened up Prince Of Arran’s Melbourne Cup price from $31 to $16.