Irish St Leger favoured for Big Orange

Big Orange coming clear to defend his Goodwood Cup


 By Bruce Jackson 7:30PM 1 AUG 2016 

IT IS a case of weight and see for Big Orange and any Emirates Melbourne Cup bid in November but America and Canada have been ruled out for the dual Goodwood Cup winner.

Next up for the five-year-old could be the Irish St Leger in September before owner Bill Gredley and trainer Michael Bell assess the Australian handicapper’s weight allotment for the Flemington feature in November.

Bell said: “We will be waiting for the weights for the Melbourne Cup. Mr Gredley is lukewarm about making that long trip if Big Orange gets a prohibitive weight.

“The bottom weight won the race last year and it is difficult to give weight away in such a tough race – look at Snow Sky last year.”

Bell also has his eye on the future for the well-named five-year-old who has progressed physically and on the formbook with another year under his belt.

Qipco Champions day option

If Big Orange missed Melbourne the plan would include the Qipco Champions Stayers race in October ahead of a trip to Dubai over the winter.

Bell added: “Don’t forget he didn’t run in the Ascot Gold Cup this year because of the rain and there is talk of a raising of the Goodwood Cup prizemoney as well next year – there is lots to look forward to domestically next year.”

Gredley and Bell are looking further afield with their other Goodwood winner Franklin D, whose name is branded into bookmakers’ skins after he became the shortest-priced winner of the Betfred Mile last Friday.

Topkapi Trophy target

Reassured by the International Racing Bureau that racing was not under threat from the recent failed coup in Turkey the plan is for Franklin D to run in the Group 2 Topkapi Mile won by Toormore last year.

Bell added: “He is going to have an entry in that big mile race on September 4. He is rated 109 and is not going to go down for the win so it has to be pattern races next for him.”

As to Franklin D being sent of 7-4 favourite in one of the traditionally hardest heritage handicaps of the year Bell said he was sure he would be favourite but not as startlingly short a price.

“After all being 13lb higher in future there was no other horse so well treated apart from Celestial Path but he was drawn in Surrey. Ryan (Moore) was leading jockey and he had stall one.”

Horse Racing News | Racing Post

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