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Posted 2021-08-03 09:43:35  
No Godolphin Horses for Australia this Spring

Hopes that 2018 Melbourne Cup champion Charlie Appleby would target this year's race have been dashed, with confirmation that none of Godolphin's internationally-trained stayers will be entered for the great race.

Speaking on Monday's After The Last, the managing director of Godolphin's Australian arm, Vin Cox, confirmed that only locally-trained horses from their operation will feature in the nominations for the $8 million race when they are announced on Tuesday.

Godolphin's European trainers have been a constant fixture in Melbourne during the spring for more than 20 years, with Appleby, as well as Saeed bin Suroor, chasing the Melbourne Cup, which they won for the first time with Cross Counter.

It comes amid mounting fears that this year's Melbourne Cup, and indeed the entire spring racing carnival, could be run largely without international participation due, in part, to heightened veterinary requirements and medical imaging for prospective raiders, announced following an investigation into the recent spate of deaths in the iconic race.

"Unfortunately there's not going to be a nomination from Europe for Godolphin," Cox said.

"They didn't have a strong team in any case but unfortunately they're not going to go forward with any of them at the moment.

"I think there are a bunch of things that are conspiring against a lot of people coming out here, one of which is the new protocols that people have to jump through.

"The other is the COVID situation which anyone has to go through and it's hard for stables to put staff n quarantine for two weeks.

"But probably the thing that has affected us most is that the horses that had been picked out earlier just haven't gone the right way for Godolphin."

Meanwhile, UK trainer Charlie Fellowes confirmed that his globetrotting star Prince Of Arran had been entered for both the Caulfield and Melbourne Cup.

Fellowes, who has previously expressed his displeasure with Racing Victoria's new protocols for international Cup contenders, remains critical of the heightened screening process and said he knows of only a handful of British trainers that are contemplating a spring campaign.

He said Prince Of Arran's love for Melbourne - he's been placed three times in the Melbourne Cup and won the Hotham Handicap and Geelong Cup - and his own desire to prove a point to local trainers has motivated his decision to nominate the veteran for both races.

But a decision on whether Prince Of Arran is subjected to the mandatory medical imaging will only be made after the horse returns to the track in next month's September Stakes at Kempton, with Fellowes also contemplating retirement for the popular stayer.

"He is entered, I don't know how many others are entering but we're in it and we'll see," Fellowes said.

"It's really sad and you're going to see far less interest from this side of the world, both in entries coming out tomorrow and in people tuning in to watch the race.

"My stance hasn't changed and I still don't agree with the changes that have been brought in but this fellow (Prince Of Arran) has got such a good record in Australia, he absolutely loves it over there.

"More than ever, I'd love to come over and win the race now because it's been made so much harder for us and I'd really love to stick it to those Aussie trainers who are delighted that no Europeans are coming over.

"I've got no idea (if he'll pass the veterinary testing), he's an eight-year-old or a nine-year-old by your time and he's the soundest horse I've ever trained but who knows what they could find and what the powers at be will turn around and say.

"He's run consistently from the age or two to the age of eight and he's never had a problem in his life but they could easily find something and say, you know what, we don't want you to come over.

"What they are doing is taking the trust away from the trainers, the people who know the horses inside out."

Racing.com

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