Loyalty to an old friend led jockey Michael Walker to give up the ride on dual Melbourne Cup placegetter Prince Of Arran.
Walker steered Prince Of Arran into third place in the 2018 Melbourne Cup and was second on protest last year but the pair won’t reunite this spring.
Walker has decided to ride import Dashing Willoughby for fellow Kiwi Sir Owen Glenn in the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups.
Glenn has been an avid supporter of Walker’s for more than a decade. Walker’s desire to repay Glenn’s faith was the swaying factor in his decision.
Dashing Willoughby, a Group 2 winner at the 2019 Royal Ascot carnival, will stay in Australia to continue racing after the spring carnival.
Prince Of Arran’s trainer Charlie Fellowes started the hunt for a jockey for the stayer via social media but told RSN Walker surprised him with his decision.
“It was a bit of a shock, I‘ve got to admit,” Fellowes said.
Prince Of Arran’s trainer Charlie Fellowes is on the hunt for a new jockey. Picture: Jason EdwardsSource:News Corp Australia
Prince Of Arran is a proven performer in Australia with wins in the Hotham Handicap and Geelong Cup along with his Melbourne Cup placings.
Fellowes wondered whether Dashing Willoughby was too one-paced to win a Melbourne Cup.
“There wouldn‘t be a huge difference between the two of them,” Fellowes said.
“Dashing Willoughby, he‘s a decent stayer. He’s more of a proper English stayer.
“I just wonder if Dashing Willoughby might lack that turn of foot you need for a Melbourne Cup.”
Bookmakers can’t split the pair with both horses at $26 chances in the latest Melbourne Cup betting.
Originally published asWalker dashes off Arran
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