- Sire-Dam -
The imposing six-year-old is firmly established as one of the best and most popular stayers in training. In 2016 he joined an elite band to win back-to-back renewals of the Qatar Goodwood Cup and then, this year, landed an epic renewal of the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot before finding one (Stradivarius) too strong when attempting to win a third successive Goodwood Cup.
“He’s just absolute superstar,” said Michael Bell after his heroic Ascot win. “He gives his all and he’s got a heart as big as himself. I can’t praise his attitude enough; he wants to race and he’s a colossal racehorse. On fast ground in the middle of the summer, he’s a monster.”
But first, let’s go back to the beginning.
Not seen until the October of his juvenile campaign, in 2013, the well-bred Big Orange had a reasonable start to his career without setting the world alight.
He opened his three-year-old campaign with a respectable second-placed effort at Kempton before getting off the mark at cramped odds in a similar contest at Lingfield.
He then indicated that stamina was going to be his strong suit when fourth in the Queen’s Vase at Royal Ascot.
Listed victories at Chester and Ascot followed before he contested the QIPCO British Champions Long Distance Cup on British Champions Day at Ascot. Tom Queally made a bold bid from the front on the fast-improving stayer but the testing conditions told and he weakened into sixth.
An exciting 2015 beckoned but he began with tame efforts at Chester and York, before scooping the Group 2 Princess of Wales’s Stakes at Newmarket’s July meeting.
On the back of this fine effort, Big Orange was stepped back up from middle distances to tackle the Group 2 Qatar Goodwood Cup.
Under a strong front-running ride from Jamie Spencer, the gallant gelding made his mark on the 2015 British Champions Series as he kept on strongly to deny Quest For More and Ascot Gold Cup winner Trip To Paris in a three-way photo-finish.
Big Orange failed to reproduce that form in the Lonsdale Cup next time at York but ran a tremendous race on his final start of the campaign, when a close fifth (beaten about two lengths) in the Emirates Melbourne Cup.
He finished nine lengths third to Exosphere in the 1m4f Jockey Club Stakes at Newmarket on his first start in 2016, but turned the tables on that rival when gaining a repeat success in the Princess of Wales’s Stakes at Newmarket. Michael Bell described it as a career-best for him.
Then followed another game all-the-way success in misty conditions at Goodwood. After that success he went back on his travels but was unable to add to his tally.
Big Orange began his 2017 campaign by finishing finishing a a close fourth to Vazirabad in the Dubai Gold Cup at Meydan and served notice he would again be a threat to all in the top staying race when trouncing his rivals by five lengths and upwards in the Henry II Stakes at Sandown.
He proved that conclusively by making nearly all in the Gold Cup – holding off the late challenge of Order Of St George by a short head in a gripping finale.
BCS Career statistics
|Year||Wins-2nd-3rd||Prize money||Group 1 wins||Archived results|