Qatar Goodwood Cup
Group 2, Goodwood 15:10
£300,000 added,
3yo plus,
2m, Class 1
  
Thursday 28th July 2016

1 Big Orange 11/4F
2 Pallasator 9/1
3 Sheikhzayedroad 11/1
NR: Astronereus (IRE)
14 ran Distances: 1¼l, hd, 2l
TIME 3m 24.93s (slow by 3.93s)

Big Orange wins the Goodwood Cup with a superb front-running performance!

Big Orange
Big Orange

The Michael Bell-trained Big Orange became the first horse since Double Trigger (1997 and 1998) to retain the Qatar Goodwood Cup following a gutsy length and a quarter success in the Group Two contest.

The Jamie Spencer-ridden colt led throughout the two-mile contest. Turning for home, the son of Duke Of Marmalade was still travelling well for Spencer despite horses lining up in behind ready to challenge the gelding.

However, the five-year-old was not for passing and fended off the challenge of second-placed Pallasator and third-home Sheikhzayedroad.

A delighted Bell said: "Big Orange is a very brave horse. He gives his all. He has got as very good mind and engine and he has good limbs as well - that combination is a potent force.

"Big Orange is an enormous horse and big horses tend to mature with age. It is a bit of cliché but like a fine wine he is getting better with age. He is just a star and we are so lucky to have him. He has a massive stride and such a high cruising speed. Touch wood he is very clean limbed and loves this fast ground.

"I thought he was headed and said to Claire 'he is beat' but Jamie always knew he was going to win. We saw Big Orange at a breaking yard in the summer of his two-year-old career. Bill wasn't going to send him in but this horse cantered by and we said 'God, this horse moves well let's give it a go' and the rest is history.

"He was a very raw product as yearling and was a box-walker so he didn't go to the sales as he would have made a ham sandwich. It's great because he has now won a lot of prize money with still more to come. He won well today and won the Princess of Wales's Stakes at Newmarket by two lengths this year. Last year he won those races by a neck and half a length so you would have to say he has improved and I think the handicapper would probably say he has as well.

"In the Princess of Wales's Stakes he beat the Grey Gatsby who is a Group One winner so our horse is a high-class horse over both a mile and a half and two miles and he likes fast ground so he travels very well."

As for the future, Bell suggested another trip to the Melbourne Cup, in which he finished a two and a half-length fifth last year was a possibility: "Bill [Gredley, co-owner] is not so keen [on Melbourne Cup] but Tim (Gredley) is very keen and I am quite keen, although I think we need to see what weight he gets before we commit. There are other possible targets like the Canadian International or Hong Kong. There is a lot to be chewed over and Bill usually opens a good bottle of wine when we talk plans!

"The Melbourne Cup is a handicap so there is no point flying round the world if you think you've got too much weight. I've got to talk to Bill but I think we will make the entry. The Caulfield Cup is also a handicap so that is an option but we would have to see what he is rated. I doubt his rating will go up today but we will have to see what weight he is given before deciding about Melbourne. He has got the attitude to do it and I enjoy the Melbourne experience more than any other experience I have had on a racecourse so we might go back if we feel we could troubling the judge."

Qatar Goodwood Cup
(British Champions Series) (Group 2)
£300,000 added, 3yo plus, 2m, Class 1
14 ran
Going: Good to Firm

Pos Dr D Horse SP Jockey Weight Trainer Age
1st (9) Big Orange 11/4f J P Spencer
9-8
M L W Bell 5
2nd (15) Pallasator 9/1 Oisin Murphy
9-8
Sir Mark Prescott 7
3rd (14) hd Sheikhzayedroad 11/1 M Harley
9-8
D M Simcock 7
4th (12) 2 Wicklow Brave 16/1 Andrea Atzeni
9-8
W P Mullins 7
5th (1) hd Sword Fighter (IRE) 9/2 C O'Donoghue
9-8
A P O'Brien 3
6th (2) hd Quest For More (IRE) 7/1 G Baker
9-8
R Charlton 6
7th (11) 6 Kinema (IRE) 12/1 R Kingscote
9-8
R M Beckett 5
8th (10) nk Suegioo (FR) 66/1 James Doyle
9-8
R A Fahey 7
9th (8) Glaring 100/1 Jim Crowley
9-8
Mrs A J Perrett 5
10th (3) nk Curbyourenthusiasm (IRE) 8/1 D Sweeney
9-8
D M Simcock 5
11th (13) Sandro Botticelli (IRE) 25/1 L Dettori
9-8
J Ryan 4
12th (7) 5 The Twisler 100/1 M Dwyer
9-8
Jane Chapple-Hyam 4
13th (4) 47 Oriental Fox (GER) 25/1 J Fanning
9-8
M Johnston 8
NR (6) Astronereus (IRE) 12/1 Non Runner
9-8
Mrs A J Perrett 5
Also Ran: Commissioned (IRE)

PRESCOTT HAPPY WITH PALLASATOR

Trainer Sir Mark Prescott was delighted with the performance of Pallasator, who finished the one and a quarter length runner-up behind Big Orange in the Qatar Goodwood Cup at the Qatar Goodwood Festival this afternoon.

The 9/1 shot has been called some names in the past but produced another strong staying performance under jockey Oisin Murphy and his trainer felt their race plan had been executed without a hitch.

"I thoroughly enjoyed watching it as we had this convoluted Prescott plan that came off perfectly," said Prescott. "I'm lucky to have a jockey (Oisin Murphy) who could have carried it off perfectly too. From my point of view, it was a joy to watch. It's just a shame that beastly thing kept on going! He's an exam question this horse. There are always things to put right. Rosie (Jessop - who looks after Pallasator) really does deserve all the credit as she's the only person in the world who likes him.

"He's just a fascinating horse - if you like that sort of problem. He's like one of those kids who throw their weight around in the pub until someone challenges them and then they back down. That's exactly what he's like. Just when I think I've worked him out, he keeps changing. I thought the winner was jolly good though.

"He'll head back to Doncaster now. Placing is not the problem - it's getting the best out of him. He's been so horrible for so long but, rather like John McEnroe, everybody loves him now!"

Trainer David Simcock was also happy with Sheikhzayedroad, who finished a further head back in third place.

"I'm very happy with him, he has run a lovely race," said the trainer. "He is consistent and that is him really. It needs to rain for him to win but at the same time I couldn't be happier with him. He has been beaten by two good horses.

"He will go to back to Canada, whether he goes for something before that I don't know. There are loads of options for him. The Doncaster Cup and the Lonsdale Cup so we will just pick and choose."