Charlie Fellowes expressed his satisfaction after Prince Of Arran was drawn in stall one for Tuesday’s Lexus Melbourne Cup.
The seven-year-old is bidding to make it third time lucky in the Flemington showpiece, having finished third behind Charlie Appleby’s Cross Counter in 2019 and been placed second, after passing the post third, in last year’s renewal.
Prince Of Arran warmed up for ‘the race that stops a nation’ by finishing a close-up fourth in the Caulfield Cup two and a half weeks ago and Fellowes is looking forward to his latest challenge.
“I think the draw is fine. We can ride a race from there and get plenty of cover,” said the Newmarket-based trainer.
“It’s better than being caught out wide. It should be relatively straightforward.”
Prince Of Arran is part of a final field of 24 runners, with Aidan O’Brien’s pair of Anthony Van Dyck and Tiger Moth having mixed fortunes in the all-important barrier draw.
Caulfield Cup runner-up Anthony Van Dyck appears well placed in stall three, but Irish Derby runner-up Tiger Moth – who was last seen landing a Group Three at Leopardstown in September – is drawn second widest of all in gate 23.
Former Ballydoyle inmate Sir Dragonet, who won the Cox Plate on his first start for Ciaron Maher and David Eustace, is in stall 14, while Joseph O’Brien’s pair of Master Of Reality and Twilight Payment will break from gates 11 and 12 respectively.
The Willie Mullins-trained Stratum Albion (nine) and Andrew Balding’s Dashing Willoughby (19) are the other European challengers along with Andreas Wohler’s Ashrun (24), who sealed his place in the field with a short-heard victory in the Lexus Hotham Stakes on Saturday.