Newmarket trainer Charlie Fellowes is hoping for a middle barrier for Prince Of Arran to give him a chance to do better than last year in the Sunday’s Group 1 HK$20m Longines Hong Kong Vase (2400m) at Sha Tin in Hong Kong.
Fellowes was keen on the chances of Prince Arran in the 2018 Hong Kong Vase but those thoughts were lost when the Melbourne Cup third placegetter drew the outside gate in the fourteen horse field and wound up finishing in eighth position behind Exultant.
The Tony Cruz trained Exultant has been installed the $2.10 favourite for this year’s Hong Kong Vase at Ladbrokes.com.au while Prince Of Arran at $10 returns to Hong Kong as the 2019 Melbourne Cup runner up.
“We have unfinished business in Hong Kong,” Fellowes told the Hong Kong Jockey Club’s Racing News Desk.
“I told everyone at Sha Tin last December that Prince Of Arran was in even better shape than he had been in Australia but he got gate 14 and nothing went right for him. Actually I think he still ran a huge race, all things considered,”
“I wouldn’t want to be right on the inside but three to seven would be ideal. Our horse doesn’t want to lead but he wants to be close up. That is how he likes to race.”
Prince Of Arran was actually third across the line in the Melbourne Cup behind Vow And Declare and Master Of Reality but after a subsequent protest hearing for fourth, Il Paradiso, against second was upheld, Prince Of Arran was promoted to be the runner up and second across the line, Master Of Reality, was relegated back to fourth.
Michael Walker was aboard Prince Of Arran in the Melbourne Cup and will head to Hong Kong to team up with the English stayer again.
Prince Of Arran’s only win in the last twelve months was his last run before the Melbourne Cup when he scored a narrow victory in the Group 3 $400,000 Geelong Cup (2400m) at Geelong while Hong Kong Vase favourite Exultant has visited the winner’s stall on four occasions at Sha Tin since winning last year’s Hong Kong Vase.
Exultant was the winner of the Group 3 HK$3.25m The Centenary Vase (1800m) on January 27, the Group 1 HK$10m The Citi Hong Kong Cup (2000m) on February 17, the Group 1 HK$10m Standard Chartered Chater Cup (2400m) on May 26 and his most recent outing in the Group 2 HK$4.25m The Jockey Club Cup (2000m) on November 17.
Betting for the 2019 Hong Kong Vase at Ladbrokes.com.au: $2.10 Exultant, $7 Lucky Lilac, $8 Anthony Van Dyck, $10 Deidre, Prince Of Arran, $12 True Self, $17 Glory Vase, Southern Legend, $26 Called To The Bar, Young Rascal, $34 Mount Everest, $51 Aspetar, $61 Ho Ho Khan.