Melbourne Cup placegetter Prince of Arran will create a “headache” if he wins the Herbert Power Stakes, but Charlie Fellowes is not complaining.
The English stayer will use Saturday’s Group Two 2400m Herbert Power Stakes at Caulfield to launch his second tilt at the Melbourne Cup on November 5.
Despite finishing third behind Cross Counter and Marmelo in last year’s Melbourne Cup, Prince of Arran sits outside the field for that race and the Caulfield Cup.
Victory in the Herbert Power could dramatically alter Prince of Arran’s course this spring, with trainer Fellowes admitting from his Newmarket base automatic Caulfield Cup entry may be too tantalising to pass up.
“If he wins, it’s going to be much more of a headache than if he loses,” Fellowes told World Horse Racing.
“If he loses … he’ll go for the Lexus Stakes and then into the Melbourne Cup.
“If he wins, I’ve got a real headache. Do I run him again?
“Do I go straight to the Melbourne Cup. Do we go for the 2019 Caulfield Cup, which he’ll then get into? Do we run in the Lexus and do what we did last year?
“As much as I would love to win on Saturday … (it) just makes the two, three weeks between now and then slightly more complicated.”
The equal topweight with 58kg, Prince of Arran ($8) is one of four Herbert Power runners at single-digit odds along with Steel Prince ($3.70), Glory Days ($8) and Hang Man ($9).
He has drawn wider in 11 than last year when he grabbed third from barrier five as Yucatan scored a comfortable victory from Brimham Rocks.
But his strong form has wavered since last spring, with fruitless trips to Hong Kong and Dubai followed by unplaced performances before his third in the Group Three September Stakes at Kempton early last month.
Fellowes said the seven-year-old gelding had settled in well in Melbourne the second time around.
“He galloped really nicely (on Wednesday),” he said.
“That’s his second piece of work since he’s been out here, and it’s just a bit of a tune-up before Saturday.
The trainer remains in England until the end of the month with travelling foreperson Natasha Eaton once again overseeing Prince Of Arran’s Australian campaign.
“I know that she’ll do the job exactly how I would do it if I was out there and she knows the horse inside out,” Fellowes said.
“Obviously there’s always a worry that something goes wrong, they maybe get sick. But he takes everything in his stride.
“He’s been there done that – he knows what he’s doing.”