Order of St George turns screw to take Ascot Gold Cup
Ryan Moore and odds-on favourite give Aidan O’Brien his seventh win in race
Ryan Moore and Order Of St George take the Ascot Gold Cup. Photograph: PA
The youngster sprang to prominence when winning the Irish St Leger by 11 lengths last season but had only been seen once since then against inferior opponents.
Punters who had backed him into 10-11 favourite would have been panicking with half a mile to run, as Ryan Moore had nowhere to go when stuck in the pack.
French raider Mille Et Mille was allowed to set his own pace in front and at one stage was nearly 10 lengths clear before slowing down and kicking clear again.
Moore had to bide his time until finding a gap in the straight and as soon as the four-year-old was in the clear he stamped his authority on the contest.
Luca Cumani’s Mizzou gave chase in vain up the rail to finish second, while Sheikhzayedroad eventually got in the clear to claim third.
In winning a seventh Gold Cup, Aidan O’Brien once again proved he has no peers in training the stayers.
Moore said: “He’s a class horse and class horses win races.
“He picked up very well and after two and a half miles, he was pouring it on at the end.
Part-owner Michael Tabor added: “It looked a rough race to me, they all bunched up and he’s a special horse.”
Of thinking he might be up to dropping back in trip to take up his King George entry, Tabor added: “That would be a nice thought.”
Tabor also paid tribute to O’Brien after he had earlier brought up his 50th Royal Ascot win.
He added: “I think all the superlatives have been said about Aidan and all I can really do is endorse what everybody has said — he is one of the great trainers.”
O’Brien — who saddled the great Yeats to four consecutive Gold Cup wins — hailed Moore’s efforts in the saddle.
He said: “I’m delighted for the lads. Ryan relaxed him lovely and he rode him well.
“It was a little bit messy and rough and because he had never run over the trip before, Ryan had to put him to sleep.
“He’s a horse that loves racing.”