Irish St Leger Betting Tips: Flag Of Honour Gets Curragh Classic Nod Over Latrobe

Betting.org experts give their 2018 Irish St Leger betting tips for the final Classic of the season. Flag Of Honour has a superb record at The Curragh over course and distance, so looks a worthy favourite for the 1m 6f feature. Irish Derby hero Latrobe is feared most in this Group 1 contest. Gallant Ebor second Weekender is an each-way alternative for this big race on Irish Champions Weekend, meanwhile. Our 2018 Irish St Leger betting tips preview has the lowdown on these horses bidding for this big prize.

Paddy Power logo
Odds
9/4
Selection
Flag Of Honour
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888sport logo
Odds
11/4
Danger
Latrobe
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Betfred logo
Odds
9/2
E/W
Weekender
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Flag Of Honour a worthy Irish St Leger favourite

Consecutive course and distance wins give Flag Of Honour leading claims of landing the hat-trick and Classic glory with it as he deservedly heads the betting for the 2018 Irish St Leger at The Curragh on Sunday (15:35). Trained by Aidan O’Brien, who has saddled two of the last three winners of this Group 1 feature over 1m 6f, the son of Galileo has clearly relished stepping up to this trip.

Having made almost all the running in the Group 2 Curragh Cup when staying on and finding plenty for pressure to score by 1 1/2 lengths, this colt then dropped down in grade and impressively gave away a 5lb penalty to his fellow three-year-olds when winning the official trial for this race by a neck from Twilight Payment.

He kept on really well again under sustained pressure and now meets the runner-up off 3lb better terms, which gives Flag Of Honour no reason to not confirm the form. Those exploits have earned him an official rating of 113 – just 1lb shy of main market rival Latrobe.

Now racing off level weights with his fellow three-year-olds getting 8lb from the older horses, Flag Of Honour has race conditions entirely in his favour. Ballydoyle maestro O’Brien has team back in top shape, so everything points to a huge run and he is taken to follow-up once again and make it three on the spin.

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Latrobe feared most if bouncing back

On top ratings wise here when factoring in the weight-for-age that three-year-olds receive from their elders is Irish Derby hero victor Latrobe, who comes back to the scene of his career best and Classic success, so he’s feared most on that form. Trained by Joseph O’Brien, the son of Camelot by a Shamardal mare also boasts a great record at this venue of two wins from three outings.

Although second in the first of those, Latrobe relished going up in trip to 1m 4f and bolted up by 6 1/2 lengths to break his maiden tag. He came into the Irish Derby unexposed and totally under the radar, but kept on well at the business end of affairs to deny a game front-runner in Rostropovich by half-a-length.

It was a battling display and one that suggested further would also suit as the runner-up finally yielded after almost being back on terms at the furlong marker. Connections then made the rather bizarre decision to drop Latrobe down in distance for the 1m 2f Juddmonte International Stakes at York.

Seeking this valuable Ebor Festival prize was clearly a mistake, however, as he was the first one beaten and lacking the turn of foot required to get competitive over that trip at elite level when finishing seventh of eight and 10 1/2 lengths down on 10 furlong specialist Roaring Lion.

Going up in distance to uncharted territory is far more likely to suit Latrobe, based on the way his two previous outings went. Another huge plus is Donnacha O’Brien rides this colt for his brother again and not one of the three engaged in the race for their father, as the jockey is on a phenomenal 42 per cent strike rate going into Irish Champions Weekend.

Taking all that into account, he should give Flag Of Honour plenty to think about. We are opposing Latrobe in our 2018 Irish St Leger betting tips, however, because of the proven course and distance form of his main market rival and the Derby/Leger double is rarely attempted or even tried in the Emerald Isle.

Weekender an each-way alternative

There’s a sole British raider in the six-runner field and that’s Ebor Handicap runner-up Weekender for in-form trainer John Gosden and owner Prince Khalid Abdullah. Having run a massive race under top-weight in the hands of Frankie Dettori in that ultra-competitive and valuable race at York last time out, he is taken as an each-way alternative and pick of the older horses on show here.

This four-year-old son of Frankel has a win and three seconds from four career starts over the trip. Weekender is also lightly-raced for his age after just 10 outings under rules and four of those have come this season, including a victory on the all-weather at Chelmsford in a conditions contest on reappearance.

He was stepped up to 2m for the first time off the back of 2 1/2 lengths victory, but found that extra distance too much when third in the Group 3 Henry II Stakes at Sandown. Weekender then dropped back down to the 1m 6f of this and was eased in grade for an Ebor prep run at Listed level on the Knavesmire.

Although headed before the final furlong, he rallied gamely in the Grand Cup and went down fighting by a neck to Marmelo. Hughie Morrison’s horse is among the leading British contenders set for a trip Down Under and a crack at the Melbourne Cup, so Weekender was far from disgraced playing second fiddle to him.

Dettori always kept Weekender handy in the Ebor when tracking the leaders, then making headway and getting closer up behind the leaders three out. He soon took it up, but was headed before the last by the winner to whom he gave 3lb, though still stayed on well under a drive to be beaten just over three lengths.

It’s this performance under a welter burden that underlines his claims of making the frame here. Regular pilot Dettori is aboard again, while connections swerved using Weekender as a pacemaker for the recently returned and magnificent filly Enable in last weekend’s September Stakes at Kempton Park to save him for this.

Although he has to give 8lb to the likes of Flag Of Honour and Latrobe on weight-for-age, a repeat of his Ebor run means Weekender would be there or thereabouts again here. For that reason, he is preferred to Idaho as our each-way bet among the 2018 Irish St Leger betting tips on offer.

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