Doyle poised for Arran mount in Saudi mission

Charlie Fellowes eyeing Riyadh prize for Melbourne Cup second.

  • Thursday 23 January
  • News
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James Doyle is set to take the ride on Prince Of Arran in the inaugural Red Sea Turf Handicap in Saudi Arabia, his trainer Charlie Fellowes has confirmed.

The globetrotter has finished third and second in the last two renewals of the Melbourne Cup and will break new ground by contesting the one-mile-seven-furlong race, which is part of the card headlined by the $20million Saudi Cup.

Doyle is expected to get the leg-up on the seven-year-old, subject to his availability.

“James Doyle is booked to ride. He knows Saudi racing like the back of his hand,” Fellowes said.

“We’re really hopeful he’ll ride, providing there is no late call-up from Godolphin.

“It’s a really good race with a fantastic pot and is an exciting adventure for all of us.”

Prince Of Arran was last seen finishing down the field in the Hong Kong Vase, but Fellowes was surprised by how well he came out of the race and is bullish about his chances at King Abdulaziz Racecourse.

“He’s in really good form, he’s cantering away and I’ve been quite taken aback by him,” he added.

“I think he’s suited by the conditions of the race, he’ll love the track and the distance is perfect.”

The Newmarket-based handler suggested his stable star may remain in the Middle East afterwards, with another trip to Melbourne later in the year also pencilled in.

“The plan after is to run him on Dubai World Cup night (Dubai Gold Cup) and then come back,” Fellowes said.

“I haven’t decided where he’ll go after – it’ll be about finding the right races as British tracks don’t really suit him.

“Everything will revolve around Melbourne. We won’t over-race him given his age and takes a bit of training to get spot on, so we’ll get the Middle East out of the way first.”

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