Drakenstein Stud’s leading resident sire Duke Of Marmalade (Danehill) is set to be represented by a big runner in Tuesday’s G1 Emirates Melbourne Cup.
His evergreen son Big Orange, who was fifth in the same race 12 months ago, is set to carry top weight of in tomorrow’s 3200m race and is expected to run another good race.
Big Orange’s trainer, Michael Bell, is delighted with his charge, and feels he can improve on his fine effort back in 2015.
“He looks in good shape. It has been colder than normal at this time of year, so, with that in mind, I’m happy,” said the Newmarket trainer. “He lost 30 kilograms when he came this time last year, this time he only lost 13kg. He is a more experienced horse, that was his first ever time he had left Newmarket last year. It was a big culture shock for him coming to the other side of the world. He is a huge horse, he is nearly 17 hands high and weighs 550kg.”
Big Orange has enjoyed another fruitful campaign in 2016 –and has won his last starts, landing the G2 Princess Of Wales’s Arqana Racing Club Stakes and G2 Qatar Goodwood Cup for a second consecutive year. Runner up to dual G1 Prix Royal-Oak hero Vazirabad in the G2 Dubai Gold Cup earlier in the year, the gelding has won seven times to date for prize money of £762,987.
Jamie Spencer, who was won three times on Big Orange, will take the ride in tomorrow’s big race.
The Melbourne Cup has been advertised as taking place at 6:am South African time.