Irish St Leger Betting Tips
There are always several ways of looking at an individual horse race but oftentimes one story line catches the imagination above all others.
Take this weekend’s Irish St Leger for example. There are plenty of exciting horse capable of a big performance in the field but everybody is interested in the battle between Order Of St George and Big Orange.
Big Orange won by a short head when the two met in the Ascot Gold Cup but Aidan O’Brien’s Order Of St George is the bookies’ favourite for Sunday’s meeting at the Curragh.
Which of the two will get the win this time around? Or will the Irish St Leger winner come from further down the betting?
Top Betting Tips
Before Order Of St George’s win in 2015 the last three-year-old to win the Irish St Leger was Vinnie Row in 2001. Vinnie Row went on to win the race in each of the three renewals that followed and he has gone down as one of the greatest stayers ever on the flat.
That shows just how well Order Of St George did to win as a three-year-old and to finish second last year.
There is no doubt that Big Orange will serve up a big challenge to Order Of St George but the bookies’ favourite is the one we think will win. The distance of the Ascot Gold Cup suited Big Orange much more than his rival and the drop down in trip should ensure Order Of St George gets the win at 8/13 with William Hill.
Order Of St George impressed when winning the trial for Sunday’s race at the Curragh a few weeks ago but Rekindling also emerged from that race with his reputation enhanced.
The three-year-old will surely find this too big a race to win but he’s got every chance of a place at 14/1 with Sky Bet for trainer, Joseph O’Brien.
The Irish St Leger is the country’s equivalent of the final British Classic of the season. It is therefore run over the same distance of 1 mile 6 furlongs but there are a couple of key differences.
The Irish St Leger isn’t just restricted the three-year-olds (that change was made in 1983) while it also allows geldings to compete.
Run around the right-handed course at the Curragh, the Irish St Leger is such a well respected test of both stamina and speed that the leading contenders sometimes go on to compete in the Melbourne Cup, one of the biggest horse races in the world.
Past Five Winners
2016 – Wicklow Brave, ridden by Frankie Dettori, trained by Willie Mullins
2015 – Order Of St George, ridden by Joseph O’Brien, trained by Aidan O’Brien
2014 – Brown Panther, ridden by Richard Kingscote, trained by Tom Dascombe
2013 – Voleuse de Coeurs, ridden by Chris Hayes, trained by Dermot Weld
2012 – Royal Diamond, ridden by Niall McCullagh, trained by Tommy Carmody
Key Trends to Consider
The Irish St Leger is the only of the Irish Classics that allows horses older than three to compete. That’s an understandable decision given the gruelling nature of the race and connections of older horses have certainly taken advantage of the race recently.
Order Of St George is the only three-year-old to have won the Irish St Leger in the last 15 years. In his attempts to defend his title, Aidan O’Brien’s charge was beaten by the seven-year-old Wicklow Brave so the take home message is not to write off older horses.
When it comes to calibre, it is vital for horses to have at least contested a Group race, preferably last time out.
The Irish St Ledger is also a race where recent form matters as the vast majority of recent winners had at least placed in their last performance before the Curragh spectacular.