Drakenstein Stud’s top class sire Duke Of Marmalade was back in the news this week, following the running of the G2 Princess Of Wales’s Arqana Racing Club Stakes at Newmarket on Thursday.
His tough as teak son Big Orange made all to land the prestigious £100 000 race for a second year in a row.
The talented five-year-old was all but ignored up front, as jockey James McDonald asked Big Orange to quicken up with three furlongs left to run.
With the pack, headed by former G1 French Derby/G1 Irish Champion Stakes winner The Grey Gatsby, chasing in vain, Big Orange dug down deep to score an emphatic two and a half length win over The Grey Gatsby, with recent G2 Jockey Club Stakes winner Exosphere well held in third.
Big Orange, who stopped the clock in a time of 149.93, has now won six times, with his previous victories including the 2015 G2 Qatar Goodwood Cup.
Winning trainer Michael Bell was delighted by the gelding’s victory, saying post-race, “I couldn’t believe they left him alone in front – especially racing in Indian file as they have much more ground to make up from behind. He’ll just keep going, we know he gets two miles, he wasn’t going to stop.
“He’s the most charming horse to train, he’s a joy to have around, he was bred up the road by Bill Gredley (owner) and I’m pleased for James McDonald as he’s a lovely guy.
“He’s been in very good form at home, he’s a high-class horse who loves summer ground.”
Big Orange, who is on course to defend his G2 Goodwood Cup, is one of just five horses to win the G2 Princess Of Wales’s Stakes twice, with the last being G1 winner Millenary, who completed the double in 2002-2003. Other notable recent winners of the race include G1 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Stakes winner Petoski, Arc winner Carroll House, Melbourne Cup winner Fiorente and the outstanding broodmare Height Of Fashion (whose son, Unfuwain, won the race in 1988).
He also continued the great run of success his sire Duke Of Marmalade has enjoyed of late –the champion son of Danehill having been represented by 3 winners in the last two days. A proven stallion, who was represented by four classic winners in 2015, Duke Of Marmalade’s top performers in 2016 include stakes winners in four different countries!