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Thursday, 24 January, 2019

Donnacha O'Brien: Order Of St George would be my dream Royal Ascot ride

Order Of St George: the horse Donnacha O'Brien would most like to ride at Royal Ascot
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With two Classics already added to his CV this season, Donnacha O'Brien is now on the hunt for a Royal Ascot winner and the teenage sensation has nominated Order Of St George as the horse he would most like to ride next week. 

The Ballydoyle riding arrangements have yet to be finalised, but there was no hesitation when O'Brien was asked which of his father's string he would most like to be called up for.

Ascot Gold Cup, card, form and betting

"Oh, definitely Order Of St George. I'd love a go on him in the Gold Cup," replied the Oaks-winning jockey.

"He's the best stayer around and it's the biggest race of the week, so who wouldn't love to ride him? He's come back as good as ever this year and seems in great form at home. He's the one they all have to beat in that race."

O'Brien was on board red-hot Coventry favourite Sergei Prokofiev for his sole defeat in a Dundalk maiden on his first appearance in April, but the son of Scat Daddy you saw there and the son of Scat Daddy you see now are two entirely different creatures, according to the current table-topper in the Irish jockeys' championship.  

"He was very, very green the day I rode him. I know a lot of people were saying I should have hit him, but that's genuinely the last thing I think I should have done. He was raw and green and learned a lot from that," O'Brien said.

He added: "He's progressed with every run and is a different horse now. He has loads of natural pace. I think he'll take a bit of beating in the Coventry."

Exciting juvenile Sergei Prokofiev strides out well to boost his Royal Ascot claims

Despite his mount having an SP of 33-1, O'Brien almost stole the Irish 1,000 Guineas on Could It Be Love, who traded at a low of 2.22 on the in-running exchanges when remaining a couple of lengths clear passing the two-furlong pole. 

She could be set to drop in trip for the Jersey Stakes over seven furlongs and that trip could prove her optimum, according to O'Brien. 

"They let me go a nice, even pace in the Guineas and I thought I might have stolen it at one stage. She ran a lovely race there and I would say seven furlongs at Ascot in the Jersey would be perfect for her, although nothing is set in stone yet. 

The young rider also issued an upbeat bulletin on Coronation Stakes hope Clemmie.

"She was just about ready to start back in the Guineas and should come on a lot for that. Seamie [Heffernan] rides her at home and he seems very happy with her. She's progressing nicely," O'Brien added.

Don't miss the Racing Post Royal Ascot Guide 2018, the new 208-page book packed with all the information you need to get ready for the five-day summer spectacular. Order here or call 01933 304858 


He has loads of natural pace. I think he'll take a bit of beating in the Coventry
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