Dettori and Big Orange reunited as Dubai build-up gathers pace
Frankie Dettori is to be reunited with Big Orange on World Cup night at Meydan on March 31 when the pair are booked for another crack at the Group 2 Dubai Gold Cup.
The pair teamed up in the two-mile event 12 months ago when Michael Bell's classy stayer finished a close fourth to the smart Vazirabad.
The three-time champion then steered Bill and Tim Gredley's popular seven-year-old to victory in the Group 3 Henry II Stakes at Sandown but missed his biggest triumph – the Group 1 Ascot Gold Cup – through injury, with James Doyle deputising.
On Saturday morning Dettori put Big Orange through his paces on Newmarket's Al Bahathri Polytrack, where he mixed it with the useful Fabricate.
Gredley said: "Frankie is booked for Big Orange and the pair went well together this morning. Big Orange seems to be thriving after having the winter off this year and we're looking forward to another good season with him when all roads lead back to Ascot."
Bell also put his live Betway Lincoln hope Fire Brigade through his paces in a solo exercise under Hayley Turner but she will not be keeping the ride at Doncaster on March 24 as Ryan Moore has already been booked for the four-year-old. Fire Brigade, who is 10-1 joint favourite with the sponsors, needs at least 14 to come out to guarantee a run.
Also bound for the Dubai Gold Cup is the William Haggas-trained Dal Harraild, who justified 8-15 favouritism for an easy victory on his return in a conditions race at Chelmsford on Saturday night.
Dal Harraild, who has scored twice at Listed level and had not run since finishing sixth in the Group 2 Lonsdale Cup at York in August, soon led and was kicked clear by Paul Hanagan turning for home before drawing away to win eased down by ten lengths over Curbyourenthusiasm.
Haggas said: "Dal Harraild did it impressively. We were not planning to make the running, but they left him alone in front.
"He loves top of the ground and he has matured since his last start. It looks like we will be aiming him at the Dubai Gold Cup as conditions there will suit him."
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