Big Orange pulls out to mix up the betting for St Ledger

Racing fans and gamblers are weighing up the latest odds for Sunday’s St Ledger in the face of news that Michael Bell has decided to withdraw Ascot Gold Cup winner Big Orange from the famous race. The decision comes as a result of poor ground condition at the Curragh, and with further rain forecast for the County Kildare region over the next couple of days, things will only get worse.

The punters’ favourite

The Irish St Ledger is always one of the most popular races for the die hard gamblers, and is one of those races that always proves a big draw for those who just like an occasional wager. The latter category is a growing one thanks to the rise of the online betting market through sites like, which has brought the wonderful world of horse racing and betting to a whole new audience.

The truth is that everyone likes a flutter, a fact that has been clearly demonstrated by the popularity of lotto, scratch cards and the like – these are seen as everyday fun bets that are undertaken routinely by the average family. Till recently, the world of sports betting had something of a “closed club” sort of reputation – everyone knows what a betting shop looks like, but many are nervous to go in, unsure of what goes on behind those closed doors.

The ability to simply log on via a simple mobile phone app and place a bet on any horse race, or indeed some other sporting event, has truly revolutionised the pastime, and made it enormously popular with people from every background. So where will they be putting their money now that Big Orange is out of the equation?

Can anyone beat Order of St George?

Everyone was hoping to see a showdown between Big Orange and Aidan O’Brien’s five year old Irish Thoroughbred Order Of St George. With his main rival out of the running, the latter is now odds on favourite across all the betting sites.

Last time out, he won the trial for this race, but lost out in the main event to Wicklow Brave. He will be there, looking to defend the title, and could be a tempting bet, with some bookies offering odds of 20-1.

Other runners that will definitely be in with a shout include Dartmouth and Torcedor. Both are currently being offered at 7/1, and while Order of St George is clearly the favourite, anything can happen, especially if the weather continues to intervene.

And what of Big Orange?

Big Orange might be getting the weekend off, but he will be expected to work all the harder at his next outing, which, according to Bell, will be the Prix de Cadran during Arc weekend at the end of the month. The surface should be far more to his liking, and who knows – perhaps those “occasional” punters who were planning a wager on the St Ledger will put a pound or two on him there instead – they could do a lot worse.

FFC Blog Network