The Grey Gatsby and Exosphere could not reel in Big Orange
PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
By Keith Melrose 3:20PM 7 JUL 2016
Report: Newmarket, Thursday
Princess of Wales’s Arqana Racing Club Stakes (Group 2) 1m4f, 3yo+
BIG ORANGE won a second successive renewal of the Princess Of Wales’s Stakes as he made all to see off The Grey Gatsby under James McDonald.
Sent off at 8-1 in an open renewal, Big Orange was made to work to reach the front and set a sound pace, but his stamina meant he had enough in reserve to stave off the strong-travelling favourite, who was having his second run over 1m4f.
Last year Big Orange had been the 25-1 outsider of the field and his rivals had allowed him too much rope, but this time it required plenty of daring from McDonald, who set good fractions and let up only briefly just after halfway.
The field behind fell into perfect single file, with Exosphere third The Grey Gatsby second-last. They fanned out as they approached the dip, with The Grey Gatsby going particularly strongly, but while he and Exosphere gave chase they never looked like pegging back Big Orange, who still led by two and a half lengths at the line.
Trainer Michael Bell said: “He loves his racing and this track. I was pleased with how the race panned out with them in Indian file as it meant those behind had to make up more ground.”
Bell added: “He’s the most charming horse to train and a joy to have around. He’s been in very good form at home. We skipped the Gold Cup at Ascot because of the ground, this was second choice and we’re very glad we did.”
Big Orange went on to win the Goodwood Cup after his shock success last season and is now a general 4-1 for that race (from 6s). He also finished fifth in the Melbourne Cup and is 33-1 from 50s for that race, though Bell was lukewarm about the prospects of a second bid afterwards.
Gatsby bound for York
McDonald, Godolphin’s jockey in Australia, was riding his first Group winner in Britain and he said afterwards: “He’s a beautiful ride, an absolute gem. He’s a gentleman out on the course and was out in front when it mattered.”
Kevin Ryan, trainer of The Grey Gatsby, said: “The winner is a good horse. It was a funny race in Indian file, Jamie was in a predicament and had to sit and suffer. The race hasn’t panned out for him, but I’m delighted with him.”
Ryan also revealed that the Juddmonte International Stakes at York, for which he is a general 10-1 chance, is likely to be The Grey Gatsby’s next run.