Fellowes' Prince ready for Kempton return before heading down-under
- We bring you key quotes from Charlie Fellowes as Prince Of Arran returns to the track
- Fellowes eight-year-old will make his return after a summer break in Saturday's September Stakes
- The Melbourne Cup remains the main target for Prince Of Arran once again
Prince Of Arran (left) finishing third behind Twilight Payment in the 2020 Melbourne Cup. (Getty)
Charlie Fellowes thinks Prince Of Arran is a rejuvenated figure, ahead of what could be another busy autumn campaign.
Fellowes eight-year-old cut a dejected figure when last seen at Ascot in April, where he was beaten 11-length behind Stradivarius in the Sagaro Stakes. For a while, his trainer feared Prince Of Arran had fallen out of love with the game, but a stark improvement on the gallops in recent weeks have put another tilt at the Melbourne Cup back in the picture.
"We've given him time, and to be honest, we didn't know whether maybe he'd just had enough." Fellowes told Sky Sports this week.
"He ran two huge races in Australia last year and didn't win either of them. He was bitterly unlucky both times. In the Caulfield Cup he had a shocker of a draw and then in the Melbourne Cup he got caught in a pocket at the worst possible time."
"I think it's taken him an awfully long time to get over that. He was just not the same horse in the spring. You could see that mentally he wasn't in the right place."
In 2019 and 2020, Fellowes used the September Stakes at Kempton as a warm-up race before sending Prince Of Arran to Australia. Fellowes' star hasn't got Enable to contend with this year, but Saturday's September Stakes looks set to be a strong renewal, with Hukum set to line up before heading to France for the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.
"We've prepared him for this race (September Stakes) with a view to going to Australia and with every bit of work he has got better and better." Fellowes continues.
"Jamie Spencer sat on him on Saturday, having ridden him in the spring, and he genuinely couldn't believe the difference in him. He said he feels like a two-year-old again. He's much happier and more enthusiastic."
"It looks like a decent race but he is a very good horse around Kempton and I'd just like to see him run well. If he does that, all options are open."
Stricter travel restrictions and more stringent health checks will probably see far fewer European horses make the trip to Australia for their Spring Carnival. Fellowes, however, has not been put off.
He said, "Luckily, Prince of Arran has won over £2m in prize-money so he's covered the costs."
"He's been through an awful lot but he's an eight-year-old so he's been through considerably more in his career and has taken it like a pro."
"It's not cheap at all and it will bar a lot of people from going. It's certainly going to hinder those romantic stories of the smaller owners."
"It's a huge undertaking and had we not had such a great record in Australia and without Prince of Arran's previous experience I probably wouldn't have put him through it."
"We know he loves Australia and takes all that in his stride so we're happy to chance our arm and go down there one last time."
Twice third and once a runner-up in the Melbourne Cup, Prince Of Arran is a 20/1 shot to in the 2021 renewal with bet365. Andrew Balding's Spanish Mission tops the betting on 12/1, ahead of recent Andrew Ramsden winner, Realm Of Flowers.