Free­man pro­tege Fel­lowes says Prince can reign in Cup

Sunday Mail - - SPORT -

A DECADE af­ter be­ing in­tro­duced to the aura of the Mel­bourne Cup by Lee Freed­man, English­man Char­lie Fel­lowes has the chance to em­u­late his men­tor, fol­low­ing A Prince Of Arran’s brave Lexus Stakes (2500m) vic­tory.

Fel­lowes, 32, spent a year with Freed­man at Morn­ing­ton in 2008, tap­ping into the knowl­edge of the five-time Cup-win­ning trainer as a launch­ing pad to tak­ing out his own li­cence. On Tues­day, Fel­lowes has the chance to de­liver Eng­land’s first Cup win­ner.

On the most defin­ing day of his emerg­ing ca­reer, Fel­lowes strug­gled to rec­on­cile the fact his flag-bearer had se­cured a cov­eted golden ticket into the Cup with Lexus vic­tory. “I can’t be­lieve we’re in the big one on Tues­day,” he beamed af­ter A Prince Of Arran ($4.40) ral­lied to hold off Brimham Rocks ($4.20) and Jaameh ($4.60).

“Plans don’t of­ten come off like they did there but he’s been in great form.

“He’s trav­elled over here so well and the girl who trav­elled with him, Natasha (Ea­ton), has done the most un­be­liev­able job all year, even from the be­gin­ning of the year in Dubai.

“This was our Derby. This was the race that we needed to win. Any­thing from now on is a bonus. We’ll freshen him up, hope­fully he comes out of it good and we’ll give it our best shot on Tues­day.”

The win franked Yu­catan’s dev­as­tat­ing Her­bert Power Stakes tri­umph, with Brimham Rocks (sec­ond) and A Prince Of Arran (third) fill­ing the plac­ings at Caulfield.

De­spite Yu­catan’s stun­ning last start dis­play, jockey Michael Walker be­lieves A Prince Of Arran is a se­ri­ous player.

“He has done well,” Walker said. “I hit the front too early but noth­ing was tak­ing me into the race, and in these stay­ing races, these Euro­pean horses keep go­ing. He was pretty strong at the fin­ish.”

Brimham Rocks has fin­ished run­ner-up in the Kingston Town, Metropoli­tan and Her­bert Power. “Am I al­lowed to say I’m dis­ap­pointed?” trainer Chris Waller said. “Ob­vi­ously be­ing part of the big race on Tues­day would have been very spe­cial … I shouldn’t be com­plain­ing, but I feel for the own­ers who’ve come this far and come so close.”

A Prince Of Arran avoided a penalty for the win. He will now try to com­plete the LexusMel­bourne Cup dou­ble, last achieved by Shock­ing in 2009.

COURA­GEOUS: Luke Cur­rie and Sun­light’s fight­ing vic­tory.

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