Bell so sweet on Big Orange chance
Trainers tend to get more pessimistic as raceday approaches but in a refreshing change to the norm, Michael Bell seems to be increasing in confidence that Big Orange can go one place better than last year in Saturday’s $1 million Dubai Gold Cup.
No stranger to long-haul flights, Big Orange has also contested the last two Melbourne Cups in Australia and has taken his latest trip in his considerable stride according to Bell, who is delighted with his form at the training track.
“He’s taken the journey well but for him an eight-hour flight is a hop, skip and a jump as he’s already got so many air miles,” said Bell. “He enjoys the attention and loves the sun on his back. He’s in really good form and will run huge as they say.”
Frankie Dettori, who finished third aboard Big Orange in a Group 2 at Newmarket last year, will ride the Bill Gredley-owned six-year-old for just the second time on Saturday, with his regular rider Jamie Spencer on Quest For More in the same race.
“I’m a big fan of Jamie’s but the owners wanted a change and Frankie’s a world class jockey and has ridden plenty of winners so we’re well with it,” said Bell.
“He will definitely be ridden close to the pace and might well make it. It a very strong race but his Melbourne from with Beautiful Romance looks strong and on the evidence of last year’s running, he will be very competitive. I think he's in the same form if not slightly better. It’s all positive; get on!”
Big Orange is a best-price 8-1 with Ladbrokes for Saturday’s Group 2 prize, with last year’s winner Vazirabad their 2-1 favourite.