Big Orange gets all-clear for Cup bid after late scare

Vazirabad (left) beats Big Orange - Dubai Gold Cup

Big Orange (right) was narrow second in Dubai Gold Cup last year

  PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (  

BIG ORANGE is set for Saturday’s $1 million Dubai Gold Cup with vets at Meydan giving him a clean bill of health on Friday after he ran a “slight temperature” the previous day.

Trainer Michael Bell put it down to Big Orange “overheating in his stable” but is unconcerned it will harm his chance of going one place better than 12 months ago in in the Group 2 contest. 

Speaking to the Racing Post, Bell said: “He ran a slight temperature yesterday but the vets have checked him and his blood picture is fine. We’re happy with his wellbeing.

“He just overheated in his stable but has been as cool as a breeze since and we’re very happy with his wellbeing. He’s eaten up and he’s happy and healthy.”

A further stress for the Newmarket trainer was the heavy rain that hit Meydan on Friday morning and although it had cleared by 10.30am, Bell is hoping for a dry build up to the race. 

He added: “Big Orange ran really well last year and hopefully he can run his race again. I just hope it doesn’t get too much overnight rain because he loves top of the ground.”

Ladbrokes make Big Orange an 8-1 chance for the 2m race with last year’s winner Vazirabad the 2-1 favourite.

Rumours of a problem for Al Quoz Sprint favourite Ertijaal were quashed by connections on Friday, with all reported to be “fine” with the 6-4 favourite.


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