Big Orange gives Bell Gold Cup glory

Big Orange (pictured winning at Newmarket) was victorious in the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot
Big Orange (pictured winning at Newmarket) was victorious in the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot

The Michael Bell-trained Big Orange won a nail biting Gold Cup at Royal Ascot this afternoon.

Piloted by replacement jockey James Doyle, who stepped in at the 11th hour for the injured Frankie Dettori, the six-year-old hit the front of the field early on.

And the Gredley family-owned colt remained in that position thereafter, despite a late challenge from pre-race favourite Order Of St George that forced a photo finish.

Speaking to ITV Sport, Newmarket trainer Bell said: “I cannot give the horse enough credit.

“He is a superstar and we are extremely lucky to train him.

“It was an epic race — Order Of St George is a brilliant horse.

“I was begging for the line to come towards the end. It is just fantastic.”

The victory is the ninth of Big Orange’s career from 24 outings, taking the total of prize money to over £1m.

There was further Newmarket success earlier in the day, with the Saeed Bin Suroor-trained Bennatl taking the Hampton Stakes and John Gosden’s Coronet winning the Ribblesdale Stakes.