Top Stayers on course for head to head in next Sunday's Irish St LegerPublished September 4, 2017
Order Of St George 4-5 Betfair Sportsbook for Irish St Leger
Order Of St George 5-2 Ladbrokes for Qipco Long Distance Cup
Order Of St George and Big Orange, the last two winners of the Ascot Gold Cup are due to settle their ‘ grudge match ‘ at the Curragh next Sunday in the Irish St Leger for which the former is a best price 4-5 with Betfair Sportsbook to come out on top on this occasion.
An impressive winner of the Royal Ascot stamina test in 2016 the Aidan O’Brien-trained son of Galileo was expected to complete the double this season but the 5-6 favourite failed to peg back the front-running Big Orange in what many regarded as the highlight of the meeting, with just a short head separating the pair of gallant stayers crossing the line.
Both horses have had mixed fortunes since that 2m 4f Group 1 contest with Order Of St George easily landing the odds in the Comer Group International Irish St Leger Trial at the Curragh last month while Big Orange failed to land the second leg of the stayers’ crown when failing by a length and three quarters to concede 13lb to the younger Stadivarius in the Qatar Goodwood Cup. With that horse a leading fancy for the final Classic of the season at Doncaster time may show that Michael Bell’s charge was attempting an impossible task at the popular festival.
A top price 4-1 with William Hill to confirm Royal Ascot form with the Ballydoyle runner his handler is hoping the weather stays fine in the run-up to next weekend’s 1m 6f Group 1 Classic, saying: “ He’s locked and loaded, as Donald Trump says. He worked very well this morning ( Saturday ) and we’re keen to go, provided the ground is ok for him. I’ve never seen him so tired after the Goodwood race. But he bounced back very quickly and has been fine.”
Curragh clerk of the course Brendan Sheridan expressed himself satisfied with the conditions at this stage, saying: “ I’m very happy with the state of the ground and there will be fresh ground in use.” Hopefully, decent ground will prevail for the eagerly anticipated contest and the prospect of another epic battle between two brave horses at the peak of their powers.