Last year’s Melbourne Cup placegetter Prince Of Arran is one of a host of horses, including three other internationals, who will be trying to force their way into this year’s feature at Flemington when they run in the Group Three $400,000 Geelong Cup.
Trained by Charlie Fellowes at Newmarket in England, Prince Of Arran is on his second trip to Australia and finished second in the Group Two Herbert Power Stakes at Caulfield in the first start of his current Melbourne campaign on October 12.
Prince Of Arran features among 11 acceptors for Wednesday’s Geelong Cup (2400m) and has drawn the outside barrier.
The winner of the Geelong Cup is eligible for a weight penalty for the $8 million Melbourne Cup (3200m) on November 5 which has a field limit of 24.
Despite his third in last year’s Melbourne Cup, Prince Of Arran is still down the order of entry at 38th and in danger of missing a start this time around.
“Someone really doesn’t want Prince of Arran to run in this years Melbourne Cup. Barrier draw 11 of 11 for the Geelong Cup,” Fellowes said on Twitter.
Despite the wide draw, Prince Of Arran was the $3.40 favourite in an early market on Monday.
Godolphin trainer Saeed Bin Suroor has this year’s Ebor Handicap runner-up Red Galileo in the Geelong Cup with the Willie Mullins-trained mare True Self and John Hammond-trained gelding Haky the other northern hemisphere-trained entries.
Prince Of Arran, True Self and fellow Geelong Cup entry Neufbosc were all emergencies who failed to gain a start in Saturday’s $5 million Caulfield Cup (2400m), won by Japanese horse Mer De Glace.
The Anthony Freedman-trained Steel Prince is already assured a Melbourne Cup spot and will get his campaign back on track at Geelong after missing the Herbert Power Stakes when he was scratched after playing up in the barriers.
GEELONG CUP RUNNERS AND WHERE THEY SIT IN MELBOURNE CUP BALLOT/p>
MUNTAHAA (24th in Melbourne Cup order of entry)
PRINCE OF ARRAN (38th)
RED CARDINAL (Not passed first ballot clause)
DAL HARRAILD (46th)
GREY LION (47th)
RED GALILEO (45th)
STEEL PRINCE (Exempt)
TRUE SELF (41st)