Princess of Wales's Arqana Racing Club Stakes
|Group 2, Newmarket 15:15
£100,000 added, 3yo plus,
1m 4f, Class 1
|Thursday 7th July 2016|
1 Big Orange 8/1
2 The Grey Gatsby 11/4F
3 Exosphere 4/1
7 ran Distances: 2½l, ½l, 3½l
TIME 2m 29.93s (slow by 3.13s)
Big Orange wins the Prince of Wales's Stakes at Newmarket!
Kiwi-born James McDonald excelled on Michael Bell's Big Orange as he made all the running for the second successive year in the Princess of Wales's Arqana Racing Club Stakes at Newmarket.
McDonald, who is one of Godolphin's retained riders in Australia, had shone when coming from off the pace on Antiquarium in the Northumberland Plate and was allowed to set his own fractions on this occasion.
With last year's winning rider Jamie Spencer on the favourite The Grey Gatsby it was somewhat surprising the winner was technically ignored up front this time, and he gradually quickened the pace three furlongs out.
The field had raced in Indian file with The Grey Gatsby looking content at the rear, stepping up in trip, and he smoothly began to make progress.
Once Spencer moved alongside Ryan Moore on Exosphere the pair probably expected Big Orange to capitulate in front, but the impressive McDonald had saved something.
The 8-1 chance, who had been aimed at the Ascot Gold Cup before the ground turned soft, kicked on again to beat The Grey Gatsby by two and a half lengths.
McDonald said: "He was pretty happy out there and he gave me a beautiful ride. He's an absolute gentleman and a pleasure to ride.
"He wasn't the best to begin in the stalls as he's so big, but he was a gentleman on the course and that's where it matters."
Bell said: "I couldn't believe they left him alone in front, especially racing in Indian file as they have much more ground to make up from behind.
"He'll just keep going, we know he gets two miles, he wasn't going to stop.
"He's the most charming horse to train, he's a joy to have around, he was bred up the road by Bill Gredley (owner) and I'm pleased for James McDonald as he's a lovely guy.
"He's been in very good form at home, he's a high-class horse who loves summer ground.
"We had to skip the Gold Cup and came here as an afterthought, but I'm glad we did."
"It was a stop-start race and they didn't really go a gallop, I think the sectional times will prove that.
"Obviously he needs an end-to-end gallop, whether that's over 10 or 12 furlongs.
"The winner is a good, battled-hardened horse and he was never going to stop.
"Jamie was in a funny predicament turning in, he had to sit and suffer and hope that someone went on but no-one did.
"I'm delighted as it's the first time in 12 months he's had his ground, I know I keep bleating on about it, but he needs it fast.
"He could go for the Juddmonte International now, and we hope they get a decent-sized field. I'm not privileged enough to put a pacemaker in, but there are others that can.
"We can't wait for the Breeders' Cup - it's tailor-made for him and then he will bow out.
"The Arc is at Chantilly this year and if the ground is right he could go there, too."
Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager for owner Khalid Abdullah, said of the Sir Michael Stoute-trained Exosphere: "He's run well, he could not quite quicken at the right time but he's run a very solid race.
"He seemed to enjoy the ground. There are no immediate plans, but he's certainly in good form and we'll look at our options."
Princess Of Wales's Stakes (Group 2)
£100,000 added, 3yo plus, 1m 4f, Class 1
Going: Good to Firm, Good in places (Watered)
|Pos||Dr||D||Horse SP||Jockey Wgt||Trainer||Age|
|1st||(5)||Big Orange 8/1||James McDonald
|M L W Bell||5|
|2nd||(4)||2½||The Grey Gatsby (IRE) 11/4f||J P Spencer
|K A Ryan||5|
|3rd||(6)||½||Exosphere 4/1||R L Moore
|Sir Michael Stoute||4|
|4th||(1)||3½||Battersea 16/1||Andrea Atzeni
|5th||(7)||½||Second Step (IRE) 9/2||L Dettori
|L M Cumani||5|
|6th||(3)||¾||Elite Army 4/1||James Doyle
|S bin Suroor||5|
|7th||(2)||6||Muntazah 15/2||P Hanagan