Order Of St George warms up for Ascot with Leopardstown win

Last year’s Gold Cup winner prepares for defence by easily justifying 4-11 favouritism

Order Of St George warmed up for the defence of his Gold Cup crown at Royal Ascot with a decisive victory in the Seamus & Rosemary McGrath Memorial Saval Beg Stakes at Leopardstown.

Beaten at odds-on on his comeback in the Vintage Crop Stakes, that did not deter punters from wading in again and the 4-11 favourite was settled in fourth of the five runners.

Ryan Moore got lower in the saddle rounding the home turn, but angled Aidan O'Brien's five-year-old out to make his challenge at the top of the straight and although Twilight Payment tried to make a race of it, Order Of St George never looked in any real danger.

The Galileo five-year-old came home a ready two and quarter lengths to the good, repeating his victory of 12 months ago in the Listed contest, and O’Brien said: “We were very happy with him, he settled lovely and galloped all the way to the line.


“You would have to be delighted with that, and he couldn’t really have done any more. There is a bit more time this year (before Ascot). Sometimes it can be a little bit close, but it’s a lovely race for the Gold Cup.

“Ryan said he was fine on the ground. He handles soft ground, but the ground here is beautiful. When he goes up in trip they will be going that bit easier.

“Obviously if everything is well we will look at Ascot next, and he could follow a similar path to last year.”