English stayer Order Of St George has been elevated to the top of the Melbourne Cup market order after scoring a sensation win in the Group 1 £400,000 Gold Cup In Honour Of The Queen’s 90th Birthday (2 mile 4 furlong) at Royal Ascot in England yesterday.
Order Of St George is now the $13 favourite at Ladbrokes.com.au for the Group 1 $6m Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on the first Tuesday in November.
Japanese stayer Fame Game is now on the second line of betting at $17 with last year’s Melbourne Cup runner up Max Dynamite who finished well back in the field in tenth position behind Order Of St George in the Gold Cup.
Order Of St George was stepping up to the two and half mile journey for the first time and dispelled any concerns that champion Irish trainer Aidan O’Brien had that he would stay the distance.
“We had a pretty good idea he would stay,” O’Brien said.
“He won the Irish St Leger by 11 lengths on soft. If he wasn’t going to stay then very few were going to. Ryan gave him a great ride. It got rough and he didn’t panic. He got him into the home straight without using any gas and switched him out.”
“It was a little bit messy and rough and because he had never run over the trip before, Ryan had to put him to sleep. He’s a horse that loves racing.”
“He’s very good. When you see a horse win the Irish St Leger so far – he was the highest-rated older horse in Ireland last year and Joseph [O’Brien, his son] said he was the best stayer he ever rode by a mile.
“He had a problem at the end of last year and I wasn’t even sure we’d get him back, but it’s been a big team effort. There’s a good sense of satisfaction for everyone. It’s great when days go the right way because plenty don’t.”
Winning jockey Ryan Moore rode a patience race and after settling midfield before being pushed back further, pulled Order Of St George to the outside in the straight and immediately put the result beyond doubt.
Order Of St George went on to record a three lengths victory over the Luca Cumani trained Mizzou with Sheikhzayedroad a further two and quarter lengths away in third spot.
Moore described Order Of St George as a class racehorse after posting such an authoritative win.
“He’s a very exciting horse,” Moore said.
“He has lots of class and it was a very messy race with eighteen runners in there. He’s just a class animal.”
“It was a rough old race. I was in the middle and it wasn’t smooth, but the horse has a fair bit of pace and a lot of class. I wanted cover to chill him to get two-and-a-half miles, and going downhill it got very tight with people trying to get a position.”
Winning part owner Lloyd Williams is keen to bring Order Of St George to Melbourne for the Melbourne Cup, but that decision will be determined by what weight the handicapper gives him for Australia’s most famous race.
“I bought 75% share of him at the end of June last year so I am the majority owner of him so I can obviously make the decision if he comes to Melbourne or not,” Williams told RSN’s Racing Ahead.
“He is going to go back and try to win the Irish St Leger for the second year in a row, that’s his next program, which is in September, and then after that I would like to bring him to Melbourne.
“It depends roughly what sort of weight he is going to get in that race.”
“If he is absolutely anchored in it, there is no point in bringing him all of the way.
Order Of St George is the winner of six of his eleven race starts and include an eleven lengths victory in the 2015 Group 1 €350,000 Palmerston House Estate Irish St. Leger (2816m) at the Curragh in Ireland.