Sky Bet Ebor Handicap is the 'perfect race' for Charlie Fellowes' Prince Of Arran
Newmarket trainer Charlie Fellowes is confident that Saturday’s Sky Bet Ebor Handicap is the ‘perfect race’ for Prince Of Arran.
As the Journal went to print the six-year-old, who finished third at last year’s Melbourne Cup in Australia, was not regarded by the bookmakers to be among the frontrunners to land Europe’s richest handicap at York.
However, having put his 25/1 shot through his final piece of work on the Limekilns on Tuesday morning, Bedford House Stables-based Fellowes believes the son of Shirocco will make his presence felt in the one million pound contest.
“It is the perfect race and to be honest I am struggling to find a single negative,” he said. "It is a flat, nice, round track which he loves and it is going to be a big field, which again he loves.
“Fourteen furlongs is the perfect trip as well – two miles is too far and a mile and a half is not enough. It looks like we are going to get some nice summer ground and that really suits him.
“The preparation has been uninterrupted and he worked really well in his final piece of work. The Ebor has always been the plan this year and I could not be happier with him.”
Following two outings in Dubai in March, Prince Of Arran did not return to the track until August 2 when he finished last of five under jockey James Doyle in the Group 3 L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate Glorious Stakes at Goodwood.
However, it was a performance that caused no concerns for Fellowes, who saw the outing as an opportunity to blow away any lingering cobwebs.
“We know he is not getting any younger and it takes a bit longer to get him fit,” added the Royal Ascot-winning trainer.
“The run at Goodwood was all about blowing away the cobwebs.
“We want to win every race and that was no different, but realistically a mile and half was always going to be too sharp and that is not a track he particularly likes.
“It was about giving him a change of scenery and one run there is the equivalent to three bits of work at home, so it made sense.
“I said to James that if he was not going to win inside the final furlong to let him just have a nice blow and that is what he did.”
Following his weekend assignment, the Saeed Bel Obaida-owned horse will head to Australia to begin preparations for another crack at the Melbourne Cup.
He is likely to run two or three times Down Under before the race that famously ‘stops a nation’, which will take place on Tuesday, November 5 at Flemington.