Michael Bell forced to abandon Irish St Leger plans with Big Orange

Thu 7 Sep 2017

Big Orange will not run in the Comer Group International Irish St Leger at the Curragh on Sunday because of unsuitable ground.

Trainer Michael Bell has decided not to risk sending over his Ascot Gold Cup winner to Ireland due to the prospect of further rain over the next couple of days.

It means the rematch with Aidan O'Brien's Order Of St George is off, for the time being at least.

Big Orange will now switch to the Prix du Cadran at Chantilly on Arc weekend.

"Given the prevailing ground conditions of yielding to soft, I'm afraid we won't be running," Bell told At The Races.

"There's little point in playing away from home on a surface that doesn't suit.

"It's not next door. We have to make a decision today as regards shipping. I think it's a no-brainer to wait and hope they get decent ground.

"He'll now go for the Prix du Cadran on Arc weekend. That's the plan and you can get nice ground.

"Every time I've had runners over that weekend it's always been pretty decent ground, so it's fingers crossed for the same.

"He's been lightly campaigned and he's a very easy horse to train and keep fit because he's so clean winded.

"He makes life relatively easy."

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