Bell delighted with Big draw

Trainer Michael Bell is confident Big Orange will run a "massive race" in Tuesday's Melbourne Cup after faring well in the all-important barrier draw.

Big Orange has been drawn well in the Melbourne Cup

The dual Goodwood Cup hero finished fifth in the Flemington showpiece last year from stall 23 and the Newmarket handler admitted to being thrilled after receiving a far more favourable starting berth this time around in stall seven.

He said: "We're absolutely delighted.

"It's obviously a much better position than last year and we think the horse is in better shape than he was 12 months ago.

"It's got to be a positive we've drawn a low number when you consider how well he ran from a wide draw last year and we're very much looking forward to the race.

"We just need the rain stay away – the track is riding quick today which would have suited him – and I'm sure he'll run a massive race."

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There were mixed results for British and Irish challengers overall.

Charlie Appleby's Oceanographer, who confirmed his place in the 24-strong field with a last-gasp victory in the Lexus Stakes earlier in the day, will break from stall 11, with Geelong Cup-winning stable companion Qewy in stall 15.

A formidable Godolphin squad also includes the Saeed bin Suroor-trained pair of Beautiful Romance (stall one) and Secret Number (stall 10) and John O'Shea's ante-post favourite Hartnell (stall 12).

Aidan O'Brien's Bondi Beach fared best of the Irish contingent, with connections drawing stall five.

However, Tony Martin's Ebor winner Heartbreak City and the Willie Mullins-trained Irish St Leger hero Wicklow Brave are widest of all in stalls 23 and 24 respectively.

Mullins said: "It's not the stall you'd pick, but what can you do?

"He did it in the County Hurdle, coming widest of all and winning well, so I'm hoping lightning can strike twice.

"It's not ideal, but the horse is in great shape and we're focusing on the positives."

Ciaron Maher's Caulfield Cup heroine Jameka appears well positioned in stall three.

Sky Bet are paying six places on the Emirates Melbourne Cup

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