Big Orange may have enjoyed the run of the race when landing his second Princess of Wales’ Stakes at Newmarket three weeks ago, but he appeared to be holding his advantage all the way to the line. That effort represented a significant improvement on the form he produced to win this race 12 months ago.
He showed a typically tenacious attitude to see off the attentions of Quest For More and Trip To Paris last season and appears to face an easier task this time round than when coming out on top in that thrilling finish.
The form he showed on his most recent outing at Newmarket leaves him 6 lb clear of his nearest rival on Timeform ratings and, although better is expected of Curbyourenthusiasm now stepped up to two miles for the first time, Big Orange is fancied to emulate Double Trigger and become a dual winner of the Goodwood Cup.
Carrig Cathal was value for more than the official winning margin when maintaining his unbeaten record over hurdles at Downpatrick last time out.
He overcame a troubled passage as he tried to deliver his challenge in the back straight and conceding first run to the better-placed runner-up. He stayed on well once in the clear, though, and gave the impression the return to this longer trip would see him in even better light.
He remains open to more improvement after just two starts over obstacles in his short career to date and connections were quick to nominate this meeting as his next target in the immediate aftermath of that Downpatrick success. That form leaves him 5 lb clear of the similarly unexposed Black Warrior on Timeform ratings here and – with the possibility of more to come in such favourable conditions – Carrig Cathal is expected to complete the hat-trick.