Freeman protege Fellowes says Prince can reign in Cup
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.