Turf Talk: Bell breaks Big Orange’s future into segments

Big Orange, ridden by jockey Jamie Spencer (centre) coming home to win the Qatar Goodwood Cup last summer.
Big Orange, ridden by jockey Jamie Spencer (centre) coming home to win the Qatar Goodwood Cup last summer.
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Michael Bell is keen to let the dust settle on Big Orange’s fine effort in defeat at Meydan on Saturday before committing to future targets.

Winner of the Princess of Wales’s Stakes at Newmarket and the Goodwood Cup in the last two seasons, the six-year-old ran another solid race on his first start of the year to finish a close-up fourth in the Dubai Gold Cup.

Flying Tiger, ridden by Lizzie Kelly, jumps the last to win The Betfred 'Supports Jack Berry House' Juvenile Hurdle Race at Newbury in January.

Flying Tiger, ridden by Lizzie Kelly, jumps the last to win The Betfred 'Supports Jack Berry House' Juvenile Hurdle Race at Newbury in January.

Bell said: “The ground was a little bit loose and while he was obviously effective on it, we do feel he’s a better horse on fast ground.

“We also had a bit of a blip 48 hours before when he had a temperature, so, all things considered, I felt he ran a fantastic race to be beaten just under two lengths. I suppose (Royal) Ascot would be on the radar and then you’ve got the July meeting (at Newmarket) and Goodwood again.

“He showed he retains plenty of enthusiasm and ability and hopefully he’ll have another good year.”

n Fred Winter winner Flying Tiger is likely to step up to Grade One company at Aintree next week.

The juvenile was overlooked by Lizzie Kelly in favour of stable companion Diable De Sivola, but he could only finish fifth.

Flying Tiger is now likely to meet impressive Triumph Hurdle winner Defi Du Seuil in the 4-Y-O Juvenile Hurdle on Thursday week.

“Flying Tiger will probably go for the juvenile hurdle at Aintree, I guess,” said trainer Nick Williams.

“I’d imagine the course would even suit him better than Cheltenham. The handicapper did a very good job at Cheltenham as there were three horses in line jumping the last. He’s been put up 7lb for winning and he’s now got a rating that wouldn’t have seen him out of place in the Triumph.”

Williams was not so fortunate with Tea For Two, who unseated Kelly at the second fence of the Cheltenham Gold Cup. The Devon handler added: “I think the plan is to take him to Aintree for the Bowl.”

SOBOT’S SELECTIONS

WOLVERHAMPTON: 2.10 Lizzy’s Dream, 2.40 Hisar, 3.10 NINJAGO (NAP), 3.45 Mercy Me, 4.20 Secret Lightning (treble), 4.55 Castilo Del Diablo, 5.25 Surround Sound.

CHELMSFORD: 5.45 Beauchamp Opal (next best), 6.15 Abareeq, 6.45 Skidby Mill, 7.15 Itsakindamagic, 7.45 Polar Kite, 8.15 Out Of The Ashes, 8.45 Home Again.

TAUNTON: 2.00 Bradford Bridge, 2.30 Lady Longshot, 3.00 Innocent Girl, 3.35 Chesterfield, 4.10 Kingswell Theatre, 4.45 Triopas.

WARWICK: 2.20 Henchard, 2.50 Bandon Bridge, 3.25 Evening Hush, 4.00 Sun Cloud, 4.35 Another Frontier, 5.10 Whiskey In The Jar.

Trainer Karl Burke: Sends out Quiet Reflection.

Conditions set to suit sprint duo