Charlie Fellowes reports Prince Of Arran to be coming back to his best ahead of the Unibet September Stakes at Kempton on Saturday.
The Newmarket trainer felt the eight-year-old was not himself earlier in the campaign, but all is well now and a fourth successive trip to Australia could be on the cards should be put up a good show in the Group Three over a mile and a half.
Prince Of Arran has finished third in the last two runnings of the September Stakes and has been placed in the Melbourne Cup for the last three years.
“He is September Stakes-bound on Saturday. I think the race last year really left a mark on him,” Fellowes told Sky Sports Racing.
“He ran two huge races in Australia and didn’t win either of them. He was bitterly unlucky both times and it’s taken him a long time to get over that. He was not the same horse in the spring. You could see mentally he wasn’t in the right place, so we’ve given him the time.
“I didn’t know if, at eight years old, he’d had enough, but we’ve prepared him for this race with a view of going to Australia and every piece of work he’s got better and better.
“Jamie Spencer rode him on Saturday having not ridden him since the spring, and he couldn’t believe the difference in him. He said he felt like a two-year-old again – he worked brilliantly. He’s a much happier horse and more enthusiastic. It’s maybe this time of year he blossoms.
“He loves Kempton. It looks like a decent race, but he’s a very good horse round there and I’d just like to see him run well. If he runs well then all options are open going forward.”