07/30/2017 1:41PM

Big Orange stands out in England's G1 Goodwood Cup


Big Orange was part of the most thrilling finish of the Royal Ascot meeting in June, winning the Group 1 Ascot Gold Cup at 2 1/2 miles by a nose.

The popular 6-year-old gelding will start as a heavy favorite Tuesday in another marathon turf race, the Group 1 Goodwood Cup at two miles. The $686,866 Goodwood Cup is the top race on the first of five consecutive days of the Glorious Goodwood meeting.

Later in the week, Ribchester, the winner of the Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot, will be favored in the Group 1 Sussex Stakes for milers.

Winter, the winner of three consecutive Group 1 races for 3-year-old fillies in England and Ireland this year, will start Thursday against older fillies and mares for the first time in the Group 1 Nassau Stakes at 1 1/4 miles.

Big Orange is part of a field of 16 in the Goodwood Cup. Trained by Michael Bell, Big Orange won the Goodwood Cup in 2015 and 2016 when the race was rated a Group 2.

As of Sunday, there was no clear second choice in the Goodwood Cup future book. Wicklow Brave, fourth in the Grade 3 Belmont Gold Cup at Belmont Park on June 3, was a 16-1 shot, a slightly higher price than Dal Harraild and Simple Verse, both of whom struggled at Royal Ascot.

Dal Harraild (10-1) was sixth in the Group 2 Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot on June 24, while Simple Verse was last of 14 in the Ascot Gold Cup. Simple Verse (12-1) was second in the Group 2 Yorkshire Cup at York Racecourse in May, and a repeat of that effort could lead to a top-three finish in the Goodwood Cup.