Prince Of Arran is all set for his third attempt to win the Melbourne Cup – and his new big-race jockey should be known this weekend.
Charlie Fellowes confirmed his globetrotting stable star in perfect condition for the start of his latest adventure.
Prince Of Arran, who has been in quarantine in preparation for his 10,000-mile outward journey, will leave in the small hours of Thursday morning.
By the time he is safely settled again down under, the world may well know who is set to take over in the saddle too.
Michael Walker – who rode Prince Of Arran to be third at Flemington two years ago and then second 12 months ago, promoted from third after interference ahead of him – decided two weeks ago to switch to Dashing Willoughby this time.
On Wednesday, Fellowes said: “We are going to announce a jockey at the weekend.
“I can’t say quite now, but I think we’ve made our decision, and the plan is to announce who is going to ride then.”
Prince Of Arran completed his British summer with an honourable third behind the brilliant mare Enable in Kempton’s September Stakes three weeks ago, and has since continued preparation in quarantine for his Australian schedule.
There, the seven-year-old will run in the Caulfield Cup on October 17 and then the Melbourne Cup on November 3.
“He’s really well,” added Fellowes.
“He galloped on the Limekilns on Tuesday with (Andrew Balding’s) Dashing Willoughby – they worked over seven furlongs, and they both seemed to be in great order.
“He is pretty much absolutely spot on where I want him – probably about five to 10 kilos heavy at the moment, which is great, and that gives him a bit of room for the trip down.
“Then he’ll do a couple of pieces of work down the other end.
“He’ll run in the Caulfield Cup, and then the Melbourne Cup.”