Royal Ascot 2017 – Big Orange set for the Ascot Gold Cup after winning the Matchbook VIP Henry II Stakes


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Dettori produced a masterclass from the front as Big Orange was as brave as ever to hold off all his rivals and secure a commanding five-length victory at Sandown

FRANKIE DETTORI produced a masterclass from the front as Big Orange ran his rivals ragged in the Matchbook VIP Henry II Stakes.

Dettori got his timings spot on, and had everything in trouble when he kicked for home three out.


Higher Power was five lengths back in second with She Is No Lady a further two lengths behind in third.

Dettori said: “I’ve ridden him a couple of times and am getting to know him now. We went an even gallop throughout, I picked it up at the top of the straight and I knew it would take a good one to get past me.


Frankie Dettori punches the air with joy as he wins on Big Orange

“He’s as brave as a lion.

“I told Michael if he runs like that in the Gold Cup he’d be in the first three, he’d be racing better horses but on that performance he’s entitled to be in the Gold Cup.

“He stays and he likes fast ground, it’s very rare you get a wet Royal Ascot.”

He added: “It’s nice to see old boys like him performing year after year, it’s great. He’s been around a while and like Persian Punch he wears his heart on his sleeve and that’s what racegoers want to see.”

Big Orange


Big Orange is set to head to Royal Ascot next

Bell added: “It’s really nice to give him a confidence booster as he has had some hard races the last six months around the world.

“It is nice to come back here and have the race won a long way out. Hopefully that has teed him up for a good year.

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“The Ascot Gold Cup will be next, let’s just hope we get the hot weather.

“Frankie Dettori said he will run a huge race in the Gold Cup. We are looking forward to it and on fast ground he is a major player.

“It was a nice reception he got here on a Thursday evening. It’s really heartwarming and the press he gets is fantastic.”

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