Irish St Leger betting tips: Flag Of Honour fancied for final Curragh Classic

The 2018 Irish St Leger betting tips given by Horsebetting.com experts say Flag Of Honour is a worthy favourite to land the 1m 6f Group 1 Curragh feature on Irish Champions Weekend. Irish Derby winner Latrobe is feared most stepping back up in trip, while the older brigade are represented by Idaho, who is an each-way alternative based on his staying form. Read all about these horses’ hope of Classic glory in our 2018 Irish St Leger betting tips preview.

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Odds
9/4
Selection
Flag Of Honour
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Odds
11/4
Danger
Latrobe
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Odds
11/2
E/W
Idaho
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Flag Of Honour fancied for Classic honours on course form

Aidan O’Brien has his yard back in fine form just in time for Irish Champions Weekend. Having landed two of the last three renewals of the 1m 6f Irish St Leger, his Flag Of Honour looks the pick of his trio this year and a worthy favourite for the final Classic of the season at The Curragh on Sunday (16:50)

This three-year-old son of Galileo has recorded consecutive wins over course and distance in his last two starts. After making virtually all in the Group 2 Curragh Cup, Flag Of Honour followed-up in impressive fashion when giving a 5lb penalty away to his fellow three-year-olds in the Group 3 trial for this when keeping on well and scoring by a neck.

As he now meets the runner-up Twilight Payment on 3lb better terms, there’s no reason why Flag Of Honour shouldn’t confirm the form with Jim Bolger’s re-opposing Godolphin owner runner. That one is more of many older horses that are allowed to run in this Classic, unlike the English equivalent at Doncaster which takes place 24 hours earlier.

With only 1lb to find on ratings with fellow three-year-old and main market rival Latrobe, and in receipt of 8lb from his elders, Flag Of Honour is taken on his course form to land the hat-trick among our 2018 Irish St Leger betting tips.

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Latrobe feared most if bouncing back

It looks very much like an O’Brien family affair at The Curragh, as Irish Derby hero Latrobe returns to the scene of his greatest triumph after disappointing when dropping back in trip last time out. Trained by Aidan’s son Joseph, this Camelot colt out of a Shamardal mare has a great course record of two wins and a second.

Although beaten 2 1/4 lengths by Platinum Warrior in the first of those at the end of May, that Group 3 contest was over 1m 2f – a trip which has always seemed too sharp for Latrobe. He came on for that run and being stepped up to a mile-and-a-half when landing a maiden next time out by 6 1/2 lengths.

Latrobe went to the Irish Derby as an unexposed and under the radar contender, keeping on well in the closing stage to deny a brave front-runner in Rostropovich by half-a-length and scoop the Classic spoils. O’Brien junior’s decision to drop him back down in distance for the Group 1 Juddmonte International at York when he had demonstrated staying credentials proved a mistake, however.

Finishing a 10 1/2 lengths seventh of eight to Roaring Lion showed Latrobe didn’t have the turn of foot required to get competitive and he was the first one beaten. The Irish St Leger trip and return to racing at home are sure to suit; so, off top rating of 114 and also in receipt of those 8lb from the older horses, he is definitely the one that gives Flag Of Honour most to think about.

Idaho may be best of rest

If punters seek an each-way alternative that is guaranteed to stay, then five-year-old Idaho has been far from disgraced in placing third behind British Isles endurance Flat star Stradivarius over 2m on both his last two starts. Trained by Aidan O’Brien, this son of Galileo infamously slipped up and unseated his rider during the English St Leger of 2016 when set off a red-hot favourite.

Idaho has won just two races since – last season’s Group 2 Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot and a Group 3 during Chester’s May Festival on his second start this term over a similar trip to this. That does not tell the full story, however, as he ran into wonder filly Enable on more than one occasion in 2017 and has also been globetrotting in search of valuable prizes.

After finishing last of five and beaten 16 lengths by Crystal Ocean when trying to defend his Hardwicke crown this season, Idaho was stepped up to tackle 2m for the first time by connections. In both the Group 1 Goodwood Cup at the glorious meeting and Group 2 Lonsdale Cup during the Ebor Festival he hit flat spots, but stayed on and stuck well to his task to beaten about six lengths in each.

That means the drop back in trip by a couple of furlongs here is very interesting. The obvious disadvantage is the weight-for-age Idaho gives away, but older horses have a great record in the race and that’s why he’s put up as an each-way alternative among our 2018 Irish St Leger betting tips.

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