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Order Of St George aiming for Ascot Gold Cup kudos


Order Of St George has had one major target for most of his career and that is Thursday's G1 Ascot Gold Cup (4000m), the feature of an exciting six-race simulcast 

It will be run in front of a huge crowd and with a suitably huge atmosphere for Ladies' Day though weather conditions at the five-day Royal meeting are not expected to be ideal and more rain is forecast.

Those showers won't worry Order Of St George's supporters. This Galileo colt has been mastering his opponents on each and every surface, though his outstanding victory was on good ground when he sauntered to an amazing 11 length margin in the
G1 Irish St Leger (2800m) at The Curragh last September.

He's four, and four-year-olds have collected this great prize in each of the last four years whilst his trainer Aidan O'Brien has won it six times in the past ten years. 

So many positives then for Order Of St George though he has never tried anything like this 4000m trip, and there are plenty of class equine and human acts gunning to cut this powerful gelding down to size.

That list includes Max Dynamite - also Irish-trained and who narrowly missed out on Melbourne Cup glory last November – and the enigmatic Pallasator trained by Sir Mark Prescott who commands huge respect in the UK's racing world.

The Newmarket trainer masterminded Pallasator's defeat of Max Dynamite at Sandown last month and, reflecting on that, Prescott commented:

"I'm a believer that you should always do what the enemy don't want you to do. They expected us to lead so the plan was to sit last."

Prescott won't be revealing tactics instructed to Pallasator's brilliant young rider Oisin Murphy for Thursday's feature but he does say: "Pallasator was purchased specifically for the Gold Cup. And the ground can be as soft as you want to help us win it."

The day's action begins contrastingly with the Norfolk Stakes, a G2 sprint (1000m) for two-year-olds. Wesley Ward has been responsible for all of the US trained Royal Ascot winners with six victories so far and he has Belmont scorer Red Lodge directed towards Thursday's opener.

The Washington-born 48-year-old says: "My strength is with very fast horses. Royal Ascot has these great two-year-old races but we've got the weather in Florida and are better prepared as a result. I think we have an edge."



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