Last year’s Irish St Leger champion Order Of St George has been sent to the top of futures Melbourne Cup 2016 odds after Irish horseman Aidan O’Brien confirmed a bid in the world’s richest handicap for his smart stallion.
Late last week the European four-year-old son of Galileo enjoyed a win for the punters in the Group 1 Ascot Gold Cup (4023m) on the third day of Royal Ascot.
It was a commanding late effort from the champion who was ridden by Ryan Moore and who proved his staying ability with his charging run to the line, handing O’Brien with his seventh Gold Cup success.
O’Brien has had seven starters in the ‘race that stops a nation’ for just the one third place finish in the Melbourne Cup trifecta and confirmed Order Of St George would be among this year’s Melbourne Cup nominations.
Moore meanwhile has ridden four horses in the race and was successful aboard the then Andreas Wohler-trained German raider Protectionist in the 2014 Melbourne Cup.
Order Of St George is majority owned by goliath Australian businessman Lloyd Williams, one of four owners to boast an equal record of four Melbourne Cup wins, who secured 75% in the horse last year.
Williams is keen as punch to get the horse Down Under for a shot at the iconic $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington Racecourse on Tuesday November 1, but said he cannot be allocated more than 56kg.
“If he’s absolutely anchored in it there is no point in bringing him all the way,” Williams told the media last week.
On way to a possible Melbourne Cup bid, O’Brien confirmed plans for Order Of St George to defend his Group 1 Irish St Leger (2816m) title at The Curragh in mid-September, two days before Melbourne Cup weights are released on the 15th.
“He won’t come back for the King George. We were always going to give him a break after this week and look at an autumn campaign,” O’Brien said.
“I spoke to his owner Lloyd Williams last night and he is going to be entered in the Melbourne Cup.”
Australian bookmakers have already reacted to the news and at Ladbrokes.com.au Order Of St George is the $13 early favourite in futures Melbourne Cup odds.
Also high up the all-in Melbourne Cup betting markets are Japanese stayer Fame Game ($17) who ran 13th to Prince Of Penzance in last year’s race and Ireland’s Max Dynamite ($17) who ran a surprise second to the $101 winner 12 months ago.
See below for the Top 20 in the pre-nomination Melbourne Cup markets, prices courtesy of Ladbrokes.com.au.