Big Orange Retired Due To Injury

Big Orange Retired Due To Injury

The 2017 Ascot Gold Cup winner Big Orange has been force to retire after a leg injury flared up last week.

Trained by Michael Bell and sporting the colours of Bill and Tim Gredley, the 8yo established himself over the years as one of the best endurance horses on the planet.

He won a third of his twenty-seven starts on the flat, accumulating more than £1.2 million in prize money for his connections.

After winning the Goodwood Cup for the first time back in 2015, he took his campaign internationally, and competed at venues in the likes of Hong Kong, Australia and in the United Arab Emirates.

Two starts after his first group success in Sussex, he finished a creditable fifth in the Melbourne Cup at Flemington, a few months before coming up just a neck short to Vazirabad in the Dubai Gold Cup in Meydan.

But his game effort in the Royal Ascot highlight is what stands leaps and bounds above the rest - his only Group One win in his career, and his trainer paid tribute to his incredible star.

(Credit Racing TV)

Bell tweeted: "Bill & Tim Gredley have sadly had to make the decision to retire Big Orange after his leg injury flared up last week.

"He was an eight-time black type winner including the epic 2017 Ascot Gold Cup.

"A true equine giant in every way. Happy retirement and thank you from all at Fitzroy House Stables," it finished.

Nephew Oli - who is well known for his work presenting on ITV Racing and Racing TV, was also quick to applaud what an emotional rollercoaster it has been with his uncle's horse.

He tweeted: "Sad news to hear that Big Orange has been retired but what an AMAZING horse!

"He gave Michael Bell and all the team at Fitzroy the most amazing of days and was a great credit to his owners Bill and Tim Gredley.

"Thank you for the memories! #bigorange #legend'

The 8yo - who recorded back-to-back Goodwood Cups in 2016, failed to land a third in 2017 when Stradivarius asserted himself as the new boy on the town - half the age of Big Orange.

His final start was in last season's Dubai Gold Cup, of which we was slowly away and never in contention, but connections will look back with this one and realise they had a horse of a lifetime, that took them to areas of the globe they may have never have been to.

He was your old-fashioned, out and out stayer.

Happy retirement Big Orange!