Last year’s Melbourne Cup placegetter Prince Of Arran is now virtually assured a start this year race after being given a 1kg penalty for his win in the Geelong Cup.
The penalty for Prince Of Arran’s win in Wednesday’s Group Three race at Geelong takes the Charlie Fellowes-trained international visitor’s Melbourne Cup weight to 54kg and puts him 23rd in the order of entry for the 24-horse field.
Prince Of Arran has become a fan favourite in Australia having finished in the placings in each of his five appearances in Melbourne across the past two spring carnivals.
After finishing third in last year’s Herbert Power Stakes, he won the Hotham Handicap at Flemington to force his way into the Melbourne Cup three days later and finished behind Cross Counter and Marmelo in an all English-trained trifecta.
He was in danger of missing a start in this year’s Cup and needed a penalty to force his way up the order.
The gelding was second in the Herbert Power before winning at Geelong.
“Prince of Arran and Irish mare True Self were both outstanding in yesterday’s Geelong Cup, drawing clear of the rest of the field in an extremely strong renewal of the race,” Racing Victoria’s Greg Carpenter said.
“The win continues an exceptional run of performances by Prince of Arran in Australia over the last 12 months, and comes after he ran second to The Chosen One in the Group Two Herbert Power Stakes on October 12, when he gave the New Zealand four-year-old 3.5kg in weight.
“He has clearly improved further from that run to win the Geelong Cup so impressively.
“Americain, in 2010, and Dunaden, in 2011, were both penalised 0.5kg for their Geelong Cup wins, before they carried 54.5kg to victory in the Melbourne Cup at their next start.”
Prince Of Arran has firmed from $26 to $18 for the $8 million Melbourne Cup (3200m) on November 5.