This Horse's Name Has Changed Since He Ran Third In The 2018 Melbourne Cup

A Prince Of Arran is no longer A Prince Of Arran. So who is he now? Has he changed his name by steed poll?

In a word, no. The not-too-confusing story is this:

When well-performed British six-year-old gelding "Prince Of Arran" arrived here last spring to contest three races including the Lexus Melbourne Cup -- in which he finished third -- there was one small problem.

There was already a four-year-old gelding in Australia with that name.

  • The Australian Prince of Arran was a pretty average galloper who had won just one race at Benalla in rural Victoria.
  • The European Prince of Arran had won nearly half a million dollars and two important races in Europe.

But rules are rules, and the rules of Australian racing stated that if an active horse was racing here under a certain name, no other current racehorse could have that name -- including fancy northern hemisphere imports.

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This was A Prince Of Arran, as he was then, winning the Lexus Stakes last year en route to a solid third in the Melbourne Cup. Image: Getty.

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Sick of the European millionaires stealing all the prize money?

Thus did "Prince of Arran" become "A Prince of Arran" for its successful Australian campaign in the spring of 2018. Yes, he gained the letter "A".

The horse has returned this year, but this time, he's back to its original name. Why?

Well, there appears to have been a change to the official Rules of Australian Racing earlier this year. There's a new bit in the rules as of January. It's Rule 42, section 2, and it states that:

"At the discretion of Racing Australia, a horse imported to Australia from another country may be registered using its existing name together with a number or letters indicating the name of the country in which it was bred (and if that is done the number or letters are deemed to form part of its name)."

So basically, Prince of Arran now races as Prince of Arran (GB), which means he was foaled in Great Britain. And the local one is racing as Prince Of Arran (NZ), which is where he's from. And he's still not much good, sadly, having won just once in 23 starts, though he still races on.

So if you see Prince of Arran in the form guide, be sure to check the suffix to see which one is which. Not that you have to worry about saying the suffix.

That's just a formality. You can just call him "Prince Of Arran".

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You might also call him gutsy, because his win in last week's Geelong Cup after a tough run in transit -- you can watch it in the video at the top of this story -- was the run off a serious Melbourne Cup prospect.

Prince of Arran is currently listed as a $19 chance with TAB. He has barrier 8 and will be ridden by Michael Walker, the Kiwi who rode him last year.

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