Thursday 23 January 2020

Upping the ante

Trainer Aidan O'Brien. Photo by Cody Glenn/Sportsfile
Trainer Aidan O'Brien. Photo by Cody Glenn/Sportsfile Sportsdesk

Aidan O'Brien has won the Ascot Gold Cup on no fewer than seven occasions.

Yeats (2006, 2007, 2008, 2009), Fame and Glory (2011), Leading Light (2014) and Order of St George (last year) have been victorious for him.

O'Brien seems to train the winners almost specifically for a race that means a great deal to John Magnier and his Coolmore partners. A statue of Yeats stands at Royal Ascot, paying tribute to a horse that was really popular in England and Ireland.

Order Of St George may be better again. He has the stamina to win the Gold Cup, as he did in hugely impressive style last year, but he has the class also to finish placed in an Arc, as he did then too.

He was beaten in the Irish Leger when Ryan Moore probably rode with excessive confidence, though it was hard to blame him too much in that regard. His Leopardstown performance last time suggested he is as good as ever, and given the genius that is O'Brien, it is hard to see how the horse can go off odds-against at Ascot. Bet, enjoy, go and collect. BET: Order Of St George in Gold Cup, 3pts win 11/8

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