Aidan O’Brien has paid tribute to Ascot Gold Cup hero Order Of St George after his retirement was announced on Tuesday.
The six-year-old claimed the Royal meeting feature in 2016 and also counted two Irish St Leger wins among the 13 victories he scored in 25 career starts.
O’Brien had been hoping to prepare Order Of St George for a third Irish Leger run on Sunday, but when it became clear the horse would not be ready, connections decided to call time on his racing days.
“He has had a lot of racing and we didn’t want to take any chances with him,” said O’Brien.
“He has a lot of miles on his body and was getting a bit older, and that was the reason really.
“When it looked like he wasn’t going to make the Curragh, we made the decision and he was always going to go to stud anyway.
“He was a great horse. He had a lot of class, handled all kinds of ground and all kinds of trip.
“He’s a big, clear-winded horse and a big, good moving, scopey horse.”
As well as having the stamina to win Group One races over two and a half miles, he also had the pace to finish third and fourth in the last two Prix de l’Arc de Triomphes.
In the 2016 renewal, he was part of a famous one-two-three for O’Brien, when Found beat Highland Reel with Order Of St George in third.
The son of Galileo bows out having banked almost £2 million in win and place prize money and will stand as a National Hunt stallion for Coolmore in 2019.