Order of St George prevails in Gold Cup
Edited Press Release
Order of St George overcame trouble to provide trainer Aidan O'Brien a record seventh success in Thursday’s Gold Cup (Eng-G1) in honor of Queen Elizabeth's 90th birthday at Royal Ascot.
Sent off the 10-11 favorite, the Irish-bred colt gave the Ballydoyle trainer his 51st victory at Royal Ascot and his third score at this year’s meeting thus far.
Mille et Mille set a furious gallop in the race with Order of St George held up in the midpack by Ryan 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 O'Brien's charge found daylight, the strapping colt stayed strongly down the outside to swoop to the front inside the furlong-pole. Order of St George responded well to Moore's urgings and continued to find plenty all the way to the line to register an easy three-length success.
"It was a great performance. He is a brave horse,” O’Brien stated. “I'm over the moon to come here less than three weeks after his last run (Saval Beg Stakes at Leopardstown) and win this."
O'Brien was quick to highlight the skills of Moore, who gave the horse a superb ride.
"Ryan gave him a great ride and was very cool on him. It was a very rough race,” O’Brien said. “Ryan was very clever and didn't panic on him. 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 asleep during the race and I knew he was a seriously classy horse. When Ryan switched him out, he came up the middle and wasn't waiting on anyone else, he just kept on coming. He is just a big Rolls Royce engine.”
"He's a very exciting horse," Moore said. "He's got a lot of class and it was a messy race. 17 runners doesn't make it easy. I had to ride about four different races there – it was a nightmare the whole way. 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."
O'Brien suggested a tilt at the Irish Leger (Ire-G1), which Order of St George won last year, and also the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe were possible destinations for his charge.
"We thought that we would give him a break now and then give him an Irish Leger prep before going for the Irish Leger,” O’Brien explained. “We would then look for something in the autumn and we would not rule out the Arc if there was suitable ground come Arc time."
O'Brien was also quick to pay tribute to the owners and staff who are so integral to the Ballydoyle operation.
"I'm delighted for Lloyd Williams, John Magnier, Derrick Smith and Michael Tabor,” he said. “They and the lads at home put a lot in and it is a big team effort and everyone works very hard together. It is a good sense of satisfaction for everyone. From the day the horses are conceived to the day they come to the Ballydoyle and then come here.
"It's great when the days go the right way because other days don't go your way. You just have to take the good with the bad and enjoy the good days."
Trainer Luca Cumani was impressed with Mizzou’s runner-up effort behind Order of St George in the Gold Cup. The Galileo five-year-old was running well coming into the straight but could not find enough to fight off the winner, who flew down the center of the course.
"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,” Cumani stated. "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.
"We will probably run him next in the Lonsdale at York, then the Doncaster Cup and then back here for the grand finale on Champions Day."
Sheikhzayedroad, who was having his first run in the United Kingdom this year after two outings at Meydan in March, delighted trainer David Simcock with his determined third-place effort in the Gold Cup going 2 1/2 miles.
"We are delighted with him. We didn't know what would happen going to two and a half miles for the first time but he has run his heart out. I am so proud of him,” the horseman said. "Probably everything will be abroad for him now."
Order of St George photo courtesy of Ascot Racecourse via Twitter
Queen Elizabeth and Ryan Moore photo courtesy of Ascot Racecourse via Twitter