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Order Of St George outclasses Gold Cup rivals

17 Jun 2016

Four-year-old overcomes bumpy passage to take big-race spoils under Ryan Moore

Order Of St George was too good for his rivals in the Gold Cup.Picture:

A bruising renewal of the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot required a horse prepared to take some punches. It found one in Order Of St George, who stamped himself as an equine heavyweight when flooring rivals with his mix of speed and stamina.

Eighteen runners lined up in the stayers’ showpiece and Ryan Moore, the jockey of Order Of St George, will have rarely ridden in such a rough race

It made little difference to the outcome – the 10-11 favourite powering to a decisive success in the biggest race in the staying calendar, which forms part of the QIPCO British Champions Series.

“I had to ride about four different races there – it was a nightmare the whole way,” Moore said. “He’s got a lot of class and it was a messy race. Order Of St George is a class horse and class horses win races. He picked up well and to be still pouring it on at the end of two and a half miles is a very good performance.”

In the process the four-year-old demonstrated trainer Aidan O’Brien’s superiority in the race by providing the Ballydoyle trainer with a record seventh Gold Cup success.

Mille Et Mille set a furious gallop with Order Of St George held up in the mid-division by Moore. Turning for home, the son of Galileo suffered traffic problems while trying to make his way through the field, forcing Moore to bring the four-year-old wide on the outside.

However, once he found daylight, the strapping colt stayed strongly down the outside to hit the front inside the furlong pole. At the line he had three lengths to spare over the game Mizzou, with Sheikhzayedroad keeping on for third.

“He is just a big Rolls-Royce engine,” O’Brien said, admiring his winner. “It was a very rough race and he was brave. Ryan was very clever and didn’t panic. He put him asleep and despite it getting pretty rough, he wasn’t worried and pulled Order Of St George out in the home straight without using any gas. He had to be very cool to do what he did.

“He was the highest-rated older horse in Ireland last year. We knew he stayed and with these middle-distance horses with that kind of chance, you always feel they have a chance because of their quality. He won an Irish Leger in soft ground off a strong pace by 11 lengths and was going away.  So if he wasn’t going to stay none of the horses were going to stay.”

O’Brien suggested a tilt at the Irish Leger and also the Prix De L’Arc De Triomphe were possible destinations for the impressive winner.

Luca Cumani was proud of Mizzou, saying: “I think it was one of the best Gold Cups ever. It was run at a very strong pace and it was exciting to see the field strung out and everybody having to work hard.

“Mizzou ran a great race and I can only be proud of him. For a moment I thought we might do it when he hit the front but then I saw Order Of St George coming down the outside and knew my fate.”

He is likely to be a regular in more QIPCO British Champions Series races.

Sheikhzayedroad, also delighted his trainer, David Simcock, who said: “He has run his heart out. I am so proud of him. Probably everything will be abroad for him now.”