Trainer Michael Bell has been understandably pleased with the form displayed and results posted by Big Orange this year, and has revealed the talented stayer will be set for a trip to Australia for the 2015 Melbourne Cup (3200m) on the first Tuesday of November.
Big Orange has posted an impressive five wins and one minor through only 12 competitive starts so far, and returned this time for a credible fourth in the talent-rich Group 3 Ormonde Stakes (2696m) on May 8th.
While unlucky to be checked and blocked for a run when seventh in the Listed Grand Cup (2816m) on May 30th, the Duke Of Marmalade gelding charged home to win the Group 3 Princess Of Wales’s Stakes (2414m) on July 9th before repeating the dose in the Group 2 Goodwood Cup (3200m) on Thursday.
Confident the conditions of the 2015 Melbourne Cup will perfectly suit his galloper, Bell told Racing UK he is brimming with excitement ahead of the likely trip to Victoria for a Spring Carnival campaign.
“He is an absolute star, this horse. He’s so genuine and is a pleasure to train. I can’t sing his praises highly enough,” Bell said.
“He was officially the highest-rated horse in the race so if he stayed, he could win it and Jamie gave him an absolutely masterful ride. He just got a breather into him, it was a very good ride and a very good horse. I’m thrilled.
“Bill (Gredley, owner) is so enthusiastic, he knows his horses inside out. When you breed them, I think it’s extra special. Any owner-breeder knows that when they welcome in the horses they’ve raised and grazed at home, it just makes it extra special.
“I think Melbourne is the plan. He obviously stays two miles and he’s got the boot to win a Group 2 over a mile-and-a-half, so I would say he ticks a lot of the boxes.”
Stamping his claims as one to watch through an impressive 2014 campaign, Big Orange finished fourth in the Listed Queen’s Vase (3219m) before taking out each of the Listed Chester Stakes (2696m) and Listed Noel Murless Stakes (2816m).
Ladbrokes.com.au is currently offering the best early 2015 Melbourne Cup odds, for which Big Orange can be taken at a particularly generous quote of $26 for success.