The Qatar Goodwood Cup:‘It was thrilling to be involved in a race like that!’
‘It was thrilling to be involved in a race like that’ said Trainer to the victorious steed, Michael Bell. And ‘thrilling’ was just the right word! Through the sea of panamas and fascinators spectators at The Qatar Goodwood Cup watched with bated breath as the ripple of muscle and lungs that is Big Orange thundered past to the roar of unbridled excitement. The four year old first made a name for himself earlier on in the month at Newmarket, winning the 12-furlong Group Two Princess of Wales’s Stakes, proving that he is a serious contender and one to be watched.
It was a fairytale result for owner and breeder Bill Gredley. It is hard to imagine the sheer adrenaline of watching the animal you have known from ungainly hooves progress to striking athlete, thundering past you with all the presence of a natural born winner. Because if there is one thing Big Orange has, it is presence! Standing at a good sixteen hands or more, his comportment in the ring had all the signs of a hero in the making. Stood in the winners ring, the sheen of his mahogany coat through the wash of thrown water, sweat, and sheer talent sparkled under the unrelenting flash of the media. Everyone wanted a segment of the Big Orange!
The favorite of the day was the Ascot Gold Cup legend, Trip To Paris, who was pipped to the post by a neck. Despite giving a valiant attempt, his top weight put him behind by a head, proving that past form isn’t everything! As trainer, Bell, went on to say ‘Big Orange is an absolute star – he is so genuine and a pleasure to train – and I can’t sing his praises highly enough’ –high praise indeed from such a well-respected trainer, and one who knows Big Orange inside out.
Race horses are the stuff that dreams are made of. They fill the heads of seven year old girls and seventy year old men alike. Big Orange is one of those horses. The sort that we all wish we could own. That we all wish that we could ride! He has that winning quality that we all wish we could bask in. And those that were involved, from the triumphant jockey, to those that made a modest flutter, will feel that they basked in it today!