Order of St George is ready to challenge Almandin for the Melbourne Cup crown as he aims to end his 2017 season with a flourish.
The Irish horse has been a contender at the highest level for the past three seasons and has a number of significant victories under his belt.
However, Almandin will be a fierce competitor to overhaul following his victory at Flemington last season, defeating Heartbreak City by the narrowest of margins.
The form of Order of St George has been impressive and Aidan O’Brien will be hopeful that his charge and maintain it for the trip Down Under.
The five-year-old has several meets scheduled before the Melbourne Cup; therefore, tracking his progress along with the other competitors with form and tipping sites such as Champion Bets will be crucial ahead of the showdown.
Order of St George made his breakthrough in 2015, notching his first major victory in Her Majesty’s Plate. He followed up that performance with back-to-back triumphs in Curragh, winning the Irish St. Leger and Irish St. Leger Stakes.
The bay horse was able to continue his fine form for the start of the 2016 season at Leopardstown. He produced a dominant performance to win the Seamus & Rosemary McGrath Memorial Saval Beg Stakes by four-and-a-half lengths ahead of his nearest rival.
As a result, he entered Royal Ascot with plenty of momentum and he duly delivered an outstanding ride with Ryan Moore in the saddle, claiming the Gold Cup three lengths ahead of Mizzou.
For the second season on the bounce, Order of St George won the Irish St Leger Trial Stakes, although he finished second behind Wicklow Brave in the Irish St. Leger.
The bay horse entered the L’Arc De Triomphe with form on his side and Frankie Dettori in the saddle, although he faced off against two of his impressive stable-mates.
Although he ran a quality race the speed of Found was too much to handle in Chantilly, with Order of St George finishing in third place in the prestigious meet.
O’Brien’s charge had the chance to respond at the British Champions Long Distance Cup and was considered the favourite for the title. Once again, the bay horse ran an impressive race and was in contention to claim the victory, but lacked the pace down the final stretch and finished in fourth.
At the start of the 2017 campaign, the five-year-old was again favoured to win the Vintage Crop Stakes. He did make a strong start but pulled into second towards the finish, but could not overhaul Torcedor to claim the win.
His return to the Seamus & Rosemary McGrath Memorial Saval Beg Stakes was fruitful as he ended his run without a victory, clinching the crown by two-and-a-quarter lengths.
However, a second-straight Gold Cup eluded him at Royal Ascot by the smallest of margins as he lost out by a short head to Big Orange at the meet.
The Irish horse returned to familiar surroundings in Curragh and notched his second win of the season at the Irish St Leger Trial Stakes.
It was a dominant performance from the five-year-old, leading the race from three furlongs out to canter home for the win – four-and-half-lengths ahead of his nearest rival.
Order of St George has form on his side, but whether it will be enough to defeat the seasoned Almandin and a talented field at Flemington remains to be seen.