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Dettori relishing Goodwood date with Big Orange

18 Jul 2017

Jockey will be back on board six-year-old when he attempts to win Goodwood Cup for third successive year

Dettori and Big Orange clicked at Sandown earlier this year. Picture:

Frankie Dettori is relishing being reunited with Big Orange in the Qatar Goodwood Cup in a fortnight – a race that forms part of the QIPCO British Champions Long Distance category.

Dettori, who has enjoyed 16 wins in the QIPCO British Champions Series, missed the ride on him in the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot because of a broken shoulder.

Big Orange won by a short head from Order Of St George at the Royal Meeting under James Doyle, but Dettori will be back on board at Goodwood when the six-year-old will be seeking a historic third successive win in the race.

“I struck up a good partnership with Big Orange in the spring and have been Bill Gredley’s neighbour for 18 years and am good friends with his son Tim, so we go back a bit,” Dettori said at a press launch for the Qatar Goodwood Festival on Monday.

“I spoke with James Doyle at length before the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot, so I was still part of it. It goes without saying, the Gold Cup was the most exciting race of the week.

“I thought that Order Of St George had plenty of time to get past Big Orange at Royal Ascot, but Big Orange stuck his neck out and wanted it more. Big Orange has become a very popular horse – he has a catchy name, has been around a while and wears his heart on his sleeve.

“The key to Big Orange is that he has already won the Qatar Goodwood Cup twice and you usually get the good to firm ground he loves at Glorious Goodwood. I am not saying he is shoo-in, he will go down fighting but he has a leading chance.”

In the Qatar Nassau Stakes, Dettori faces a potentially tricky choice between Shutter Speed and So Mi Dar, both trained by John Gosden.

“I will put my leg across both of them and talk to John and Gary Foster, who rides both fillies at home, before deciding who to ride,” he said. “At the moment, I couldn’t split them.”