While Aidan O’Brien is not afraid of using superlatives to describe his horses, his comparison of Order Of St George to a Rolls Royce was not far off the mark after he turned in a display of sheer class to land the Gold Cup In Honour Of The Queen’s 90th Birthday.
Having sent out the mighty Yeats to win the race on four occasions between 2006 and 2009, there is every possibility the lightly raced four-year-old could dominate the staying division after claiming what at one stage looked an unlikely victory.
Appearing just 13 days after winning the Saval Beg on his reappearance, the son of Galileo was backed into 10-11 favourite to give the master of Ballydoyle his seventh winner in the two-and-a-half mile event.
All looked to be going well for last year’s impressive Irish St Leger winner with Ryan Moore sitting in a seemingly useful position, but Order Of St George found himself shuffled back with more horses in front of him than behind him and left with what looked a mountain to climb.
After being forced to sit and suffer, the spilt eventually came for Moore and when it did the response was immediate. Once in command Order Of St George was not for stopping, and he crossed the line three lengths clear of Mizzou, with Sheikhzayedroad a further two-and-a-quarter lengths back in third.
Following the race, which completed a double for O’Brien and Moore having earlier landed the Ribblesdale Stakes with Even Song, the winner was quoted at 7-4 and 5-2 by Paddy Power and William Hill respectively to defend his title in 2017.
O’Brien said: “You never know if they are going to get the trip if they have never been over that.
“He won the Irish St Leger on soft ground by 11 or 12 lengths off a strong pace and if he wasn’t going to stay there were very few horses that would.
“He is a seriously class horse. Ryan switched him out and he came down the middle of the track and just kept galloping. He just has a big Rolls Royce engine.”
The defence of his Irish Leger title is high on the priority list before a potential assault on the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, for which he was introduced at 16-1 by William Hills.
He is part-owned by Australian Lloyd Williams, and RaceBets cut the four-year-old to 11-1 from 20-1 for the Melbourne Cup.
O’Brien added:”I think the plan is to give him a little rest and bring him back and get him prepared for the Irish St Leger and if that all ends well, he could go for the Arc.”
Moore was impressed by the manner of the victory, given the trouble in running he encountered.
He said: “It was stop-start. It was a nightmare, really. It was not by choice that I had nowhere to go. I wanted to give him a bit of cover, as he had never been beyond two miles before, but it got messy.
“He’s a class horse and class horses win races. He picked up very well and after two-and-a-half miles, he was pouring it on at the end.”
After enjoying the multiple victories of Yeats, fellow part-owner Michael Tabor is dreaming of a similar outcome with his new found star.
He said: “I think it was a rough race. I always like to see the race again. They all bunched up, but Order Of St George is a special horse. It is very nice to think that he could emulate Yeats.”
Luca Cumani was thrilled with Mizzou’s effort and has a return trip to Ascot on Champions Day as a long-range target.
He said: “He ran very well. I’m delighted. He just found one that was too good, but that was Mizzou’s best performance ever.
“I don’t think Goodwood would suit him, so the plan would be more like the Lonsdale and the Doncaster Cup, and then come back here in October.”
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