Three-time Melbourne Cup placegetter Prince Of Arran has started the advanced veterinary scanning process needed to trigger a fourth Flemington mission.
The cult figure must still fire at Kempton next month for motivated English trainer Charlie Fellowes to forge ahead with the Cup bid.
“He went up to the vets to have the first set of these MRIs done,” Fellowes said.
“He’s got to go back to have more MRIs done on Friday and then has to go to the vets next week to have the CT scan.
“If any horse can go through it (mentally) he can … if I had a young horse who hadn’t been to Australia I probably wouldn’t have nominated (for the Cup), I wouldn’t put them through this.”
But Fellowes, who two weeks ago rated Prince Of Arran “a million to one” to return to Australia – owing to a form slump – indicated the Cup ride could be up for grabs.
Jamie Kah rode the horse last year but owner-breeder Saeed bel Obaida was “disappointed” with the steer.
Michael Walker, who piloted Prince Of Arran to Cup placings in 2018 and 2019, is sidelined following a knee reconstruction.
Charlie Fellowes still has some reservations about travelling to Melbourne. Picture: AAPSource:AAP
But with hurdles still to be cleared – the scans and Kempton race – Fellowes has not given serious thought to the Cup booking.
“I’ve got absolutely no idea … in my head he’s still not coming so I haven’t even thought about a jockey,” Fellowes told the Ciaron Maher Racing Spring Preview stream on Thursday night.
“Jamie Kah is winning on absolutely everything she rides and she got a bit unlucky last year.
“She knows the horse, she has to be a contender, but it would be more the owners’ decision on that one because I know they were a little bit disappointed with the ride.
“They felt maybe we got in a little bit of trouble we didn’t need to get into but a lot of water has gone under the bridge since then.”
Prince Of Arran settled in a midfield position from barrier one last year and missed out on the necessary gaps at the top of the straight.
Kah would eventually find clear galloping room and surged to finish a luckless third.
“She’s won a lot of big races and probably got a lot more streetwise or experience,” Fellowes said.
“It was her first ever Melbourne Cup and I think being a female there was a lot of weight on her shoulders, especially on a horse that has got a little bit of a following.
“I’ve got no idea who would ride, I don’t think we would be short of options.”
Originally published asArran begins vet process for fourth Cup tilt
Source: Read Full Article