Long Distance Cup tips – keep it fresh with Litigant at 14/1

Long Distance Cup tips - keep it fresh with Litigant at 14/1


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Betting Tip: Litigant @ 14/1 with bet365

A field of 10 will go to post for the QIPCO British Champions Long Distance Cup Stakes over 2m, due off 1.25pm.

Who’s favourite?
The race revolves around Ascot Gold Cup winner Order Of St George and whether he has recovered sufficiently enough after his lung-busting third in the Arc just 13 days ago. His trainer Aidan O’Brien issued a positive bulletin this week, saying: “He seems in very good form. He came out of the Arc very well.” Even so, he arrives here on the back of a long old season and was turned over at odds of 1/7 only last month, so on balance he’s opposable at odds-on.

Who’s next best?

Last year’s St Leger heroine Simple Verse would appear to be the best alternative after she got back to winning ways last time. However, she only scrambled home in that Group 2 contest and remains below her Classic-winning form, although she may have more to offer now she steps up to two miles for the first time. She certainly promises to stay this far and, if she does, she surely won’t be far away getting the 3lb sex allowance.

And the rest?

The 2014 winner Forbidden Rules has been trained for this by Dermot Weld, who has sent out four winners from seven runners on Champions Day since its inception, and you can put a line through his eighth in last year’s race as he was badly hampered when switched to challenge in the home straight. He’s a real mudlark, though, and I’m not sure the ground (currently ‘good’) is going to be soft enough for him.

Quest For More won a substandard Group 1 in last time, coming from well off the pace, and is equally effective when making the running as she showed when landing a Group 2 at York and then getting collared close home by the reopposing Sheikhzayedroad in the Doncaster Cup. But he’s another who has been very busy of late and it could be a case of going to the well too often.

The freshest horse in the line up is undoubtedly Litigant, who has not been seen out since hacking up in the November Handicap, all of 343 days ago. But he goes well fresh as he showed when beating Wicklow Brave (conqueror of Order Of St George last month) in the Ebor Handicap and he may have been feeling the effects of the York race when only ninth in last year’s renewal. His trainer Joseph Tuite has been quick to snap up the services of the in-demand James Doyle and reports the gelding in A1 condition.

The remainder don’t look good enough.

What’s the verdict?

The Ballydoyle runners are renowned for being tough, but three races in the space of a month could find out Order Of St George and I’d rather back LITIGANT each-way against him, albeit to small stakes. He’ll need one or more of the principles to underperform and at this time of the year that’s entirely possible.

Back Litigant each-way @ 14/1 bet365 (1/4 odds, 1.2.3)

Betting Tip: Litigant @ 14/1 with bet365

All odds were correct at time of posting.

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