English stayer A Prince Of Arran has gained a start in the 2018 Melbourne Cup with his win in the Group 3 $300,000 Lexus Stakes (2500m) at Flemington today.
The winner of the Lexus Stakes gets a ballot free entry into the Group 1 $7.3m Lexus Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on Tuesday and A Prince Of Arran has jumped from number twenty-eight in the order of entry to be included in the final twenty-four horse field for ‘The Race That Stops A Nation’.
The start of the Lexus Stales was delayed for over ten minutes because of a problem with the power supply to the photo finish camera but the Charlie Fellowes trained stayer was unperturbed with the delay.
A Prince Of Arran is weighted on 53kg for the Melbourne Cup but could get a penalty for his win today and the Lexus Stakes winning jockey Michael Walker is over the moon to be riding the six year old in the famous two miler.
Walker settled A Prince Of Arran ($4.40) in fourth and fifth position in a moderately run race with Hugh Bowman out in front on Sole Impact ($31) setting a steady pace.
The Chris Waller trained Brimham Rocks ($4.20 favourite) settled in the middle of the field but James McDonald had to wait a long time into the straight before he could find clear air before running home for second with Jaameh ($6.50) also trying hard in third place.
Newmarket trainer Charlie Fellowes said that a place in the Melbourne Cup was now a bonus after A Prince Of Arran got the job done today.
“Plans don’t often come off like they did there,” Fellowes said.
“He has travelled over very well. I can’t believe we are in the big one on Tuesday.”
“This was our Derby. This was the race we needed to win and anything from now on is a bonus.”
“We will freshen him up and hopefully he comes out of it good and we will give it our best shot on Tuesday.”
A Prince Of Arran is now a $13 chance for the 2018 Melbourne Cup at Ladbrokes.com.au.