Upset Princess Of Wales’s Stakes winner Big Orange could be Victorian-bound this spring with connections of the Michael Bell-trained stayer considering a Melbourne Cup 2015 campaign for the progressive four-year-old.
The Duke Of Marmalade gelding posted his fourth win at start number 11 when improving on some below par recent form to salute in the Group 2 Princess Of Wales’s Stakes (2400m) at Newmarket late last week.
On Thursday Big Orange scored the boilover as a 25/1 shot in the Group 2 with Jamie Spencer in the saddle and could now target a run in the world’s richest handicap, the $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on the first Tuesday of November.
Owned by 82-year-old Bill Gredley, Big Orange went to the front early in the mile and a half showdown and ground down his rivals turning it into a genuine staying test with his all-the-way effort.
“Racing is a tough game and there are more disappointments than surprises so it is nice to get a nice surprise in a big race on a big race day,” winning trainer Bell said according to Racing Victoria.
“I think the cheekpieces have helped dropping back in trip and it’s a brilliant result for the owner who lives locally and loves to have a winner here.”
The horse is yet to be added to the futures Melbourne Cup odds at Ladbrokes.com.au that are currently led by Japan’s Fame Game at a short ante-post price of $13 to take out the two mile classic, but Bell confirmed it was an option for Big Orange.
“He’s in the Goodwood Cup but we would have to carry a penalty so I doubt we’ll go that route now,” Bell said.
“We’ll have to think about what to do next but I would like to go to Australia with him one day, that’s the dream anyway.
“I would love to go for the (Melbourne) Cup but it will be down to his owner. It was discussed last year but never happened.
“I think he would be perfect for the race – he doesn’t mind what the ground is and is tough as well.”
Gredley also said a trip to Australia would be something he would love to do as he also has family down under.
“I have always liked him. He may not be the best-looking horse but he has got talent and personality,” he said of the galloper.
“I have never been to Australia but I have a daughter there and I would go.”
Princess Of Wales’s Stakes runner-up was the Luca Cumani-trained Second Step, Cumani having saddled-up nine Melbourne Cup starters for two seconds and a third in the ‘race that stops a nation’.
The master horseman though was far from confirming plans for a 10th runner in Second Step who instead was on track for an early August run in Berlin.
“I am looking at a Group One race in Berlin for him on August 9th and that is his next target,” he said.
“He was giving the winner 3lb today so it was a nice performance.”
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