Irish St Leger tips: Order Of St George sets standard, but Wicklow Brave each-way value
Jamie Clark, Sports Editor | September 10, 2016
Cry God for the Order Of St George
Trainer Aidan O’Brien has saddled three of the last nine Irish St Leger winners, and 2015 victor Order Of St George looks to have this Classic contest at his mercy once again at The Curragh on Sunday (16:50).
Not only does the four-year-old hail from an all-conquering yard when it comes to elite flat horse racing, but he’s won his last six starts in impressive fashion.
Landing consecutive Trial runs for this outing, as well as that Classic success on Irish Champions Weekend 12 months ago, Order Of St George thus has three course and distance victories to his considerable credit.
O’Brien even sent him further than the 1m 6f Irish St Leger distance at Royal Ascot, and this son of Galileo scored in the 2m 4f Gold Cup by three lengths from Mizzou to scoop a second Group 1 success.
Taking all known form into account, it is impossible to oppose Order Of St George. He looks nailed on to live up to deserved long odds-on favourite status for the Irish St Leger, and give his handler back-to-back successes in The Curragh Classic.
Wicklow Brave each-way a worthy wager
Where the value may instead lie, then, is backing Wicklow Brave each-way following some high-profile flat efforts that have seen him finish the frame a fair bit this and last season.
Willie Mullins and connections’ willingness to switch this seven-year-old former Cheltenham Festival winner away from the obstacles during the summer months has paid off with placings prize money.
Their reward for doing so last season was seeing Wicklow Brave finish a 1 1/2 length runner-up to Litigant in the Ebor Handicap at York, having earlier landed the 2015 running of Vincent O’Brien Handicap Hurdle.
Wicklow Brave was then among the best of the rest as third of 11 behind Order Of St George in the 2015 renewal of the Irish St Leger. Although well-beaten then, he was only a neck behind runner-up Agent Murphy, who does not reoppose.
Take Mullins entry over Trip To Paris
Placed finishes this season in the Goodwood Cup at the Glorious meeting and the Lonsdale Cup at York’s Ebor Festival, both over 2m, suggest the drop back in trip to 1m 6f should suit Wicklow Brave.
There is certainly more to like about Mullins’ versatile horse than Ed Dunlop gelding Trip To Paris (above), who is yet to replicate his 2015 Ascot Gold Cup winning form from five subsequent starts and has never raced in Ireland.
It leaves Wicklow Brave as clear each-way contender for the Irish St Leger behind the outstanding Order Of St George.
There’s more recommended horse racing odds for you to ponder in Coral news’ dedicated section.
Coral’s top tip: Given such short price favouritism surrounding Order Of St George, he is the stuff of an acca banker, but each-way value is there with Wicklow Brave.