Sunday 11 December 2016

Order Of St George leads the way for Aidan O'Brien in Long Distance Cup

Published 10/10/2016 | 18:51

Order Of St George
Order Of St George

Order Of St George, who finished a fine third in the Arc, features among 14 contenders for the Qipco British Champions Long Distance Cup at Ascot on Saturday.

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The Aidan O'Brien-trained colt dropped back in trip to 12 furlongs to chase home stable companion Found at Chantilly at the start of the month and he would be returning to the scene of his Gold Cup victory at Royal Ascot if he lines up in the Group Two event over two miles.

Quest For More gained a first Group One win at the Arc meeting when winning the Prix du Cadran and he could turn out again quickly for Roger Charlton in a race that may also feature his Doncaster Cup conqueror Sheikhzayedroad.

Trip To Paris, winner of the 2015 Gold Cup, could also run along with the likes of Pallasator, Forgotten Rules and Simple Verse, who bounced back to form with victory in the Park Hill Stakes at Doncaster.

Simple Verse is also entered in the British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes, a race she won last year, but trainer Ralph Beckett is favouring the stayers' event over the 12-furlong heat at present.

He said: "We won't decide until declaration time on Thursday. It will depend on ground and how we thought the race was shaping up.

"At the moment I'd probably lean more towards the Long Distance Cup, because I feel that her optimum is further than a mile and a half."

David Redvers, racing manager to Simple Verse's owner Qatar Racing, thinks beating Order Of St George will be a tall order and is eager to weigh up both options fully before making a decision.

He said: "We've still got both options open. We've seen the entries now and we'll sit down and make a firm decision as to where we go in the next day or two.

"I suspect the Aidan O'Brien horse in the stayers' race makes it a whole load more difficult for us, but there's no such thing as an easy race on Champions Day.

"I think it's safe to say that if the stayers' race was a Group One, then she'd be going there."

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