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Prince of Arran to Miss Japan Cup
Melbourne Cup placegetter Prince of Arran (Shirocco-Storming Sioux, by Storming Home) was ruled out of the Gr1 Japan Cup by trainer Charlie Fellowes when Japanese racing officials disallowed the use of a stalls blanket, used to help load horses with an aversion to the confines of the starting gate, reports bloodhorse.com. This means the field for the Gr1 Japan Cup on 24 November will be without a foreign runner for the first time in history. "He hates the feel of the metal stalls against his flanks," Fellowes revealed. "He gets quite upset. The blanket totally prevents the issue." Fellowes said it "never crossed my mind that we wouldn't be allowed to use the blanket in Japan. Thank goodness, we checked before we went over there. It's quite understandable they weren't going to change the rules at the last moment, although I don't believe they really understood how the blanket would work." Despite the absence of invaders in the Japan Cup, the strength of Japanese racing ensures a solid field. It also should be an even betting race, given the decision to send last year's winner, Almond Eye, to the Gr1 Longines Hong Kong Cup at Sha Tin rather than seek a repeat victory at Tokyo Racecourse. The Japan Cup has hosted a steady stream of international stars since its inaugural running in 1981. Winners have come from the United States, Ireland, England, France, New Zealand, Australia, Italy, and Germany.