Long Distance: Order Of St George reels in Torcedor to win Champions Day opener

Sat 21 Oct 2017

Watch the closing stages of the Qipco British Champions Long Distance Cup won by Order Of St George at Ascot on Saturday and Lydia Hislop's interview with part-owner Michael Tabor.

By Geoffrey Riddle

Order Of St George pulled off an unlikely victory to get up close home in the Qipco Long Distance Cup at Ascot.

Aidan O'Brien's stayer was sent off the 4-5 market leader, but with two furlongs to run he looked beaten back in fourth, hitting a big price on the exchanges as Torcedor kicked clear.

Gold Cup hero Big Orange was a spent force a long way out on the testing ground and it was Mount Moriah who led them into the straight, with Torcedor on his shoulder.

When Colm O'Donoghue asked the Jessica Harrington-trained Torcedor for maximum effort he looked sure to collect, but in the final 100 yards he was treading water as Ryan Moore got a late lunge out of Order Of St George.

John Gosden's Goodwood Cup winner Stradivarius stayed on for third under Frankie Dettori.

"I was very happy the whole way round and thought I had the first two covered, but they picked up very well and it didn't look likely for a long time," Moore said.

"But as they came back to him he began to get motivated and at the line he's won well.

"He's an unbelievably good horse, he ran a very good race in the Arc 20 days ago, he's come here at the end of a long, hard year and looked magnificent.

"He's a pleasure to deal with and we're very lucky to have him."

O'Brien never lost faith in his star stayer: "He never stops. In any race he's ever run in he always finishes them. Sometimes the line comes too quick, but he doesn't stop.

"He's tough he's hard and Ryan gave him a great ride.

That's him done for the year, I hope he stays in training - I haven't heard that he doesn't."

Paddy Power cut Order Of St George to 7-2 from 9-2 for the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot next year.

O'Donoghue was happy with the ride he gave 25-1 chance Torcedor in the Qipco British Champions Long Distance Cup.

O'Donoghue looked to have wrapped up the opening race of Champions Day entering the final furlong but was hunted down by Gold Cup winner Order Of St George. 

"This is the best I ever rode him - Jessica Harrington had him in amazing form," he said. 

"He's run amazing in defeat, possibly about ten pounds above his best. He's improved since the St Leger in Ireland so I knew h was coming here in good form."

Harrington was delighted with Torcedor's bold bid. 

"I'm absolutely delighted with the horse," she said. 

"He's beaten Order Of St George once and he's been beaten by him twice and that's the nearest he's even got to him other than the time we beat him.

"I didn't think he was a 25-1 shot and I told everybody to back him each-way."

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