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Order Of St George digs deep to lift Cup

21 Oct 2017

Order Of St George masters Torcedor in a thrilling Long Distance Cup. Picture: Racingfotos.com

Champion trainer Aidan O’Brien added yet another feather to his cap when Order Of St George lifted the Group Two QIPCO British Champions Long Distance Cup.

The 4-5 favourite looked held two furlongs out and traded at more than 200-1 in-running on Betfair but stayed on stoutly under Ryan Moore to overhaul  Torcedor, trained by Jessica Harrington and ridden by Colm O’Donaghue.

It was O’Brien’s second victory in the race – Fame And Glory took it in 2011 – and his fourth QIPCO British Champions Day success in total.

O’Brien said: “He [Order Of St George] never stops. In any race he’s ever run in, he always finishes them. He’s never, ever stopping. You saw him in the Gold Cup and the Irish Leger – sometimes the line comes too quick, but he doesn’t stop. He’s tough and he’s hard, and Ryan gave him a great ride.

“That’s him done for this year. I hope he is staying in training though. A mile and a half is no problem to him – he’s very comfortable at a mile and a half.”

Order Of St George prevailed by half-a-length, with John Gosden’s Stradivarius the same distance behind in third.

Winning rider Moore, registering his first victory in the two-mile contest, said: “It’s very soft out there but I was hoping that his stamina would kick in and it did. I was very happy the whole way round and thought I had the two in front of me covered, but they picked up very well and I was a bit caught out. It did not look likely for a long time, but, at the line, he has won well.

“He is an unbelievable horse. He ran a very good race in the Arc 20 days ago and has come here at the end of a long year looking magnificent. He is a beautiful horse and a pleasure to deal with.”

Moore broke his QIPCO Champions Day duck last year and this was his second victory at the meeting since it started in 2011.

Jessica Harrington said runner-up Torcedor: “I’m absolutely delighted with the horse. He’s beaten Order Of St George once and he’s been beaten by him twice and that’s the nearest he’s even got to him other than the time we beat him, so I’m completely delighted.

“He’s very tough and he’ll go on improving. I didn’t think he was a 25-1 shot and I told everyone to back him each way.”