Drakenstein Stud’s resident sire Duke Of Marmalade was represented by his fifth individual G1 winner when his charismatic son Big Orange won Thursday’s G1 Gold Cup at Ascot.
James Doyle gave Big Orange, one of two runners in the Gold Cup for sire Duke Of Marmalade, a superb front running ride as the pair poached the lead and ran on gamely to deny last year’s winner, and 5/6 favourite, Order Of St George a second win in the race.
Doyle, riding the six-year-old for a first time, timed his ride to perfection with the pair staying on to land the 2017 Gold Cup by a short head. It was six lengths back to third place finisher, and 2016 G1 Ladbrokes St Leger winner, Harbour Law.
The winning rider was ecstatic after the win, saying, “Blimey, he’s as tough as they get! Full credit to everyone. It was great to get the call-up. He got a little bit lonely. I wish the second horse had joined me a bit earlier and I think he’d have won by further then.”
One of the most popular racehorses currently in training in the UK, Big Orange took his tally of wins to nine and his prize money to over a million pounds with his first G1 success on Thursday.
Trained by Michael Bell, and owned by Bill Gredley, Big Orange has now six group wins to his name, and he has won his last two on the bounce, having landed the G3 Matchbook VIP Henry II Stakes by five lengths last time out.
His sire Duke Of Marmalade, Cartier Champion Older Male in 2008, is the sire of more than 50 stakes horses in total, and the champion son of Danehill will be represented by two lots at next week’s KZN Yearling Sale – a half-sister to G3 winner One Cool Dude (Lot 25), and a filly out of G3 Fillies Mile winner Katy’s Lane (Lot 272).