The Gold Cup (G1)

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The Gold Cup winner of last year comes back to defend his crown and is trading a shade odds on. On soft ground Order Of St George was sheer class in winning this last year, the 3L margin belying the ease of the victory. That was on very different ground to what he’ll encounter today.

He’s since been turned over in the Irish St Leger when a 1/7 shot and then put in a sterling performance to run third in the Arc though couldn’t follow that up at Ascot on Champions Day in the Long Distance Cup when again beaten at odds on.

This year first time out he was ring rusty when going down to Torcedor in the Vintage Crop Stakes at Navan in April with Twilight Payment was back in third. He then got back to winning ways when beating Twilight Payment 2 1/4 L at Leopardstown in the Savel Beg Stakes a few weeks ago in May.

Torcedor also beat Twilight Payment prior to winning the Vintage Crop beating him 5 1/2 L in early April. He’s been a revelation since moving to Jessica Harrington on the retirement of David Wachman and is a horse on the up.

Best of the home team is Simple Verse. She has shown a return to the form that marked her out as a very good three-year old when she won the St Leger and Champions Fillies & Mares. She was only beaten a neck by Dartmouth on her prep run for this, the Yorkshire Cup last time out and the question is, as it it with most of these, will she stay the trip.

The crowd favourite will be Big Orange who a durable stayer who finds two miles well within his compass. He comes here on the back of a 5 L victory in the Henry 11 Stakes.

Sheikzayedroad would also be popular, he won last years Doncaster Cup over a two furlongs shorter trip than this beating Quest For More who went on to take the Prix Du Cadran over this distance on Arc weekend taking the scalp of Vazirabad, France’s best stayer in the process.

Order Of St George is plenty short enough though undoubtedly he is the class act. The issue is reliability having been beaten when expected to win convincingly.

If the favourite is to be opposed then a chance is taken with Torcedor. He like many of these has to answer the question of staying. At 22/1 it’s worth taking a chance on Jessica Harrington doing an amazing Gold Cup double having already taken the Cheltenham Gold Cup with Sizing John this year.

Recommendation : Torcedor 22/1 ew

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