St George 5-4 for Ascot Gold Cup after slick Leopardstown success
Order Of St George made light work of his Saval Beg Stakes rivals as the five-year-old picked up smartly rounding the final bend to circle the field before easing away in the final furlong for a comfortable success for Aidan O'Brien and Ryan Moore.
Ratings suggested the race should have been a cakewalk for Order Of St George - who won this race last year en route to success at the royal meeting - and so it proved as the 4-11 favourite won easily by two and a quarter lengths.
Motherland was encouraged into an early lead by Donnacha O'Brien and the runners were soon positioned in single file as Stars Over The Sea settled in second, with Twilight Payment and Order Of St George racing ahead of Carbon Dating.
Kevin Manning was the first jockey to become animated as Twilight Payment came off the bridle before the final turn, and although he improved as the race progressed, he could not match the injection of pace Order Of St George provided.
Ryan Moore was alert to the sedate early pace and asked the son of Galileo to quicken out wide rounding the bend, and although momentarily four runners were in line, Order Of St George had the race in safe keeping from a long way out.
Aidan O'Brien said: "You'd be delighted with that – very happy. He couldn't have done any more really.
"There's a bit more time between this and the Ascot Gold Cup this year and that will suit him. Sometimes the two races can be a little bit close together."
He added: "He doesn't mind the ground too much and it was beautiful here. It will be the Gold Cup for him next and we could give him a similar campaign to last year if everything goes well."
Order Of St George is now 5-4 with Paddy Power (from 6-4) for the Gold Cup which he won last year.