Trainer Michael Bell has confirmed that Big Orange will make the trip to Australia for the 2015 Melbourne Cup after the promising stayer scored a tough win in a thrilling edition of the 2015 Goodwood Cup overnight.
Big Orange went into the Group 2 Goodwood Cup (3212m) on the back of his impressive win in the Group 2 Princess Of Wales’s Stakes (2414m) at Newmarket on July 9 and he was settled in a lovely position behind Jamie Spencer, just behind the leader Vive Ma Fille in the early stages of the race.
Vive Ma Fille tired in the final stages and it looked as though Big Orange and Quest For More would fight out the finish, but Ascot Gold Cup winner Trip To Paris hit the line strongly and looked to get his nose in front only to be bested by Big Orange in the shadows of the post.
Bell was thrilled with the performance of Big Orange in the Goodwood Cup and he told the media after the race that the Duke Of Marmalade gelding will now be set for a tilt at the Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on November 3.
“He is an absolute star, this horse,” Bell said.
“He’s so genuine and is a pleasure to train – I can’t sing his praises highly enough.
“He was officially the highest-rated horse in the race so if he stayed, he could win it and Jamie gave him an absolutely masterful ride.
“He just got a breather into him, it was a very good ride and a very good horse.
“I think Melbourne is the plan.
“He obviously stays two miles and he’s got the boot to win a Group Two over a mile and a half, so I would say he ticks a lot of the boxes.”
Trip To Paris may not have been able to take out the Goodwood Cup, but he lost no admirers with his brave staying performance.
Trainer Ed Dunlop has visited Australia with Red Cadeaux for the past four years and he said at this stage that Trip To Paris would likely join his stablemate in the 2015 Melbourne Cup field.
“I just wonder whether he did hit the front and then wander a little bit, which can happen at Goodwood,” Dunlop said.
“The owners are very keen to go to Melbourne.
“It will be interesting to see what weight Mr Bell’s horse gets as well, but it will be considered.”
Trip To Paris is currently available at 2015 Melbourne Cup odds of $16 with Ladbrokes and is on the second line of betting behind Japanese stayer Fame Game.