Michael Bell on Chantilly weather watch ahead of Big Orange's Cadran outing

Fri 29 Sep 2017

Michael Bell is praying conditions will not be too testing as he looks to run Big Orange in the Prix du Cadran at Chantilly on Saturday.

The admirable six-year-old stayer has not run since failing by a length and three-quarters to give subsequent St Leger third Stradivarius 13lb when bidding to lift the Goodwood Cup for a third successive year.

He had previously edged out Order Of St George in a thrilling renewal of the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot. A rematch with Aidan O'Brien's charge was eagerly-anticipated in the Irish St Leger, but Bell took him out of the Classic at the Curragh earlier this month.

The Newmarket trainer is eager to let Big Orange strut his stuff in France, but will remain on weather watch.

"He's very well in himself. We're just hoping the ground isn't bottomless," said Bell. "We'll keep an eye on conditions, but we're very much hoping that he'll run a big race."

Big Orange faces just six rivals, headed by Vazirabad, who aims to go one better after finishing second to Quest For More in this extended two-and-a-half-mile stamina test last year.

The five-year-old, who is trained by Alain de Royer-Dupre, made a winning return following a four-month break when landing the Prix Gladiateur on this course three weeks ago.

"I'm happy with him. When he won his prep race for the Gold Cup he got a little injury and he spent one month just walking, that is why you haven't seen him since,"said the handler.

"We had wanted to go to Goodwood and Ascot, but he's ready for the end of the season. There are two Group Ones in France for him. He goes on any ground, but he prefers it soft.

"(Christophe) Soumillon gets on very well with him, they have won 10 Group races together. He's a special horse to ride and he looks very well, he's very fresh."

Harry Dunlop is looking for another bold show from Robin Of Navan in the Prix Dollar following his fine fourth to Ribchester in the Prix du Moulin.

"I think it's a nice race for us, but we've got on to take on three-year-olds which is quite new to us, and obviously we are giving them some weight," said Dunlop.

"I'd be hopeful of a nice run. He ran a super race behind Ribchester three weeks ago over a shorter trip we wanted to try.

"Fingers crossed for another nice run. He's beaten Garlingari and First Sitting over that trip, although the ground was a bit drier. "

Chris Wall's First Sitting and Sylvester Kirk's Salouen represent other British interests in the eight-runner Group Two over a mile and a quarter.

Dunlop also has two runners in the preceding sales race, which is worth more than the Prix Dollar.

"I had an idea a year ago that the October Arqana Sales created this race to run on the Saturday of the Arc meeting and it's worth €250,000 overall, with €137,000 to the winner," said Dunlop.

"It's worth more than the Dollar and I've got two two-year-olds in it.

"Jackfinbar ran a super race first time at Salisbury, very eyecatching. Hopefully he will have learnt a lot. He could be a nice colt for later on.

"Mafeking needs to improve. He works well at home. He ran well at Salisbury the other day and we are trying to get a bit of prize money that runs down to eighth place.

"We are keen to promote it and get more partnerships because it's a huge amount of money and great fun for all the owners to go to the Arc meeting."

Karl Burke's Crown Vallary is another British challenger in the 18-runner field.

Newmarket trainer William Haggas sends the Queen's Goodwood Listed winner Call To Mind for the Group Two Qatar Prix Chaudenay, and runs Celebration Mile third Hathal in the Group Two Qatar Prix Daniel Wildenstein.

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