Irish St. Leger

We have a truly stellar card on offer at the Curragh this coming Sunday, with no fewer than five Group races on offer, including three Group 1 affairs. Here we take a look at the big race for the stayers, the 2017 Irish St. Leger.

Irish St. Leger (Curragh) Preview & Betting Tips – Sunday 10th September 2017

Race Analysis

Should Order Of St. George turn up here at the peak of his powers, he will likely take a world of beating. Five times a winner in Group company, the son of Galileo won this by a yawning 11 lengths in 2015 before taking the 2016 Ascot Gold Cup in impressive style. His overall record over this course and distance reads four wins and two runners up finishes from just the six starts. Recovering from the disappointment of a narrow defeat in the Ascot showpiece with a victory under hands and heels here last time out, he looks a worthy favourite.

Defending champion Wicklow Brave benefited from an inspired Frankie Dettori ride when mastering Order Of St. George here 12 months ago, and connections will be hoping the dual purpose performer can put in a bold show once again. There were only four runners here last year though, in a race where the Willie Mullins representative was allowed to make just about all, and it is unlikely he will be afforded such a luxury this time around. Having also finished third in the race in 2015, he does like it here and is a live each way contender.

The most recent runner to lower the colours of Order Of St. George also goes here and looks to represent Britain’s best chance of success in the contest. Michael Bell’s, Big Orange is a most interesting contender having produced a career best effort this season when pipping Order Of St George by a short head in the Ascot Gold Cup. He couldn’t quite follow up in the Goodwood Cup last time out but still ran a solid race to finish second to the talented Stradivarius. This will be the gelding’s first run in Ireland but he has travelled well in the past so we wouldn’t expect that to prove an issue. Of more concern would be this drop back to 1m6f, and also the fact that the ground may just be turning against him, as he does prefer it pretty quick.

Jessica Harrington’s Torcedor looks one of the more interesting contenders at bigger prices, having also beaten Order Of St George over this trip at Navan back in April. He is 5lbs worse off at the weighs here, but that was a pretty cosy 1 ½l success he recorded that day and he is a perfect two from two at this distance. Also two from three at this track, we are happy to ignore his below par effort in the Ascot Gold Cup last time out, as it is likely he simply wasn’t suited by the marathon trip.

Betting Tips

We really like Order Of St George and can’t argue with the fact that he rates the most likely winner. He does however get turned over with alarming frequency at what are invariably cramped odds. Beaten four times at odds-on, four times in his last seven outings, we prefer an each way punt here. Torcedor already has a verdict over the jolly to his name, thrives at this track and over this trip and looks a solid each way punt at 8/1 with Ladbrokes.