Big Orange is a worthy Cup favourite, says Bell

Big Orange

Big Orange came out on top in a thrilling Goodwood Cup last year

  PICTURE: Mark Cranham (racingpost.com/photos)  

A DAY after The Gurkha and Galileo Gold served up a Sussex Stakes classic in their latest clash, the Goodwood Cup produces another rematch – this time in the staying division – with Big Orange and Quest For More squaring up again after their thrilling battle of 12 months ago.

Big Orange prevailed by a neck at the end of a contest in which the Gold Cup winner Trip To Paris finished a close-up third.

Trip To Paris does not line up this time leaving Big Orange, on the back of a second successive victory in the Princess of Wales’s Stakes, to try to become the first back-to-back winner of the Goodwood Cup since Double Trigger clinched his second and third victories in 1997 and 1998.

Jamie Spencer, who opted to ride The Grey Gatsby at Newmarket, is back on board Michael Bell’s five-year-old.

“He’s on a career-high mark of 117 and you could argue he should be a little bit higher on some form lines,” said Bell.

“He didn’t lose much weight after Newmarket and there was obviously no travelling involved. We’re highest-rated and he deserves to be favourite provided the rain stays away. He’s very effective on fast ground.”

Big Orange and Quest For More are not the only ones having another stab at the £300,000 prize, with Pallasator (fourth), Sheikhzayedroad (sixth) and Oriental Fox (seventh) also trying again 12 months on.

Going change

Big Orange’s claims were bolstered further with news of a going change at Goodwood on Thursday morning.

The Sussex venue is now good to firm all over, having been good in places in the straight on Wednesday.

 

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