Order Of St George: Will he or won’t he?

Order Of St George: Will he or won’t he?

Order Of St George might leap to 2017 Melbourne Cup favouritism, if only he was going to be guaranteed to be coming to Flemington instead of Chantilly.

He was only given 58kgs by the handicapper, a weight even Lloyd Williams – never a fan of his runners carrying anything – said was ‘very fair’.

But part-owner Williams, like all the best owners, is leaving it up to the trainer Aidan O’Brien, a man that doesn’t appear to have such a view of the Melbourne Cup as other Irish trainers, like Dermot Weld or Willie Mullins and wants him to try for another Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at Chantilly on October 1.

“I thought he was very fairly treated by Greg (Carpenter) … 58kg,” said Williams in comments to The Australian.

“Aidan’s going to consider the position next Monday and work out if it’s a proposition to come here or stay in the Arc.

“The most difficulty with Order Of St George is he needs the cut of the track … a good-to-soft operation and I don’t know if Australia perfectly suits him,” he said. “If he had conditions to suit, at 58 kilos, I might come out of retirement as a punter.

“The Arc is one hour away and Melbourne’s 30-hours away and, nine times out of 10, the Arc is run on soft conditions.

“I think the Arc starts favourite but I think he is really attractively weighted this year and I think the horse is going better than he has ever gone. He won by nine-lengths on Sunday and the jock thought he could have won by 15.”

That’s confidence, and we said the same thing about the horse when he won the St Leger.

As it is, there’s one main factor that the trainer is considering, and that’s the surface of the track.

O’Brien told the Herald Sun: “We haven’t decided yet between the Arc and the Melbourne Cup for Order Of St George but it’s probably more likely that he will go for the Arc.”

Irish media quoted O’Brien as saying: “We would not rule out the Melbourne Cup but we are leaning towards the Arc.”

So, it depends. If anyone could guess at a wet Melbourne spring, that might just entice him out. But history is important.

Order Of St George faces what would probably be considered an average sort of Arc field, except for one: Enable.

This flying filly has won four Group 1s on the trot, the shortest margin being ‘just’ 4.5L. She’s quite astonishing and is the $1.50 favourite for the Arc. I quite fancy Dschingis Secret, the German horse, while Highland Reel should be there again for O’Brien.

To me, I think the Melbourne Cup and some hope for a dead to soft surface makes more sense than the Arc this time around.

UPDATE: He’s out! No Melbourne Cup, again!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *