The Gold Cup at Ascot seldom disappoints and it served up another cracking race today as hot favourite Order Of St George was just held by the Newmarket trained Big Orange.
Michael Bell, who trained Derby winner Motivator, was pleased to see the forecast rain had by-passed the track this morning and was confident of a big run ahead of the race. Turning for home Big Orange was in the lead and had set sail for home but Ryan Moore had ridden a patient race on Order Of St George and brought his mount wide to make a challenge.
In the end, although Order Of St George made up ground gradually throughout the home straight, Big Orange had enough to just hold him off by a short head at the line for a popular success.
Trainer Bell described the horse as a superstar and admitted he was “praying for the line” at the end of the race.
Australian race-goers will be familiar with Big Orange as he has travelled to compete in the Melbourne Cup in each of the last two years, finishing fifth in 2015 and tenth last year. He may well take his chance again and his price for that race will have shortened up after today’s epic battle.
Big Orange was $41 into $26 for the 2017 Melbourne Cup although weights may rule him out of the race.
Big Orange wins the Gold Cup for Michael Bell and James Doyle holding off Order Of St George in a tremendous finish pic.twitter.com/YB9e0IBKwO
— ITV Racing (@itvracing) June 22, 2017