Fellowes backs Prince Of Arran to prove bookmakers wrong
Prince Of Arran’s price for Tuesday’s Qatar Goodwood Cup has left trainer Charlie Fellowes ‘gobsmacked’.
The four-year-old is widely available as a 40/1 shot with the bookmakers for the recently-elevated Group 1 race, which will be the highlight on day one of the Qatar Goodwood Festival.
It comes after the Shirocco colt’s previous outing at Royal Ascot, where he finished eighth from a field of 14 in the Gold Cup.
Nevertheless, Prince Of Arran travelled well for much of the 19 furlongs before fading away in the closing stages under Tom Queally, suggesting there was still plenty more to come.
The bookies seemingly disagree, though it is a scenario 31-year-old Fellowes has become accustomed to.
“It does not surprise me because I am young trainer, but often my horses can be over-priced due to the name of the person they are trained by,” said the St Gatien Cottage Stables trainer.
“His price for Goodwood is absolutely gobsmacking — it is crazy.
“If you look at the Ascot race, we travelled through the race as good as any horse.
“As they came around the home bend, you thought there was going to be two horses challenging Big Orange and that was Order Of St George and Prince Of Arran — they were travelling the best.
“He clearly did not stay, but I thought he ran a massive race.
“This will be right up his street — two miles at a track that will really suit him.”
Big Orange won the Gold Cup battle with Order Of St George in a photo finish, and the Michael Bell-trained horse is the big favourite to repeat that success at Goodwood.
Fellowes accepts the six-year-old is going to be tough to topple, but he has backed Prince Of Arran to be one of those looking to cause an upset.
“Big Orange is going to be incredibly difficult to beat — he is a proper horse,” he said.
“Providing the ground is suitable for him — and that is the one issue he has — he looks tough to get past. The rest of the race is really open.
“Any horse other than Big Orange will be happy with a place. It is a very competitive Group 1 with phenomenal prize money.
“It is a very prestigious race, so if we finish in the top three or four, I would be over the moon.
“It is a very realistic goal — I think he’ll run a big race.”
n Bell, meanwhile, has played down concerns over how the soft ground could impact Big Orange.
“Big Orange is likely to run unless it is a bog because there is nothing else for him at the moment,” he said.
“I cannot see the ground being that bad. We are doing a weather watch but you cannot drive yourself crazy about forecasts because there are so many variables.
“Especially where Goodwood is on the top of the Downs, there can be a micro-climate.
“It can be chucking it down at the bottom of the hill but not at the top.”
Victory for Big Orange would be an historic third Goodwood Cup win in a row.