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Flag Of Honour advertises St Leger claims

Trainer Aidan O'Brien celebrates victory in the 2016 Darley Irish Oaks.
Image: Trainer Aidan O'Brien

Flag Of Honour made virtually every yard of the running in the Comer Group International Irish St Leger Trial at the Curragh.

Trainer Aidan O'Brien was bidding for a fifth successive victory in the Group Three contest, with Leading Light striking Gold in 2014 and Order Of St George racking up a hat-trick in the last three renewals.

This year the Ballydoyle handler saddled three runners, with Curragh Cup winner Flag Of Honour joined by Giuseppe Garibaldi and Southern France, who was last seen chasing home stablemate Kew Gardens in the Queen's Vase at Royal Ascot.

Flag Of Honour, the 9-4 favourite, was sent straight to the lead by Donnacha O'Brien and showed a willing attitude in the closing stages of the one-mile-six-furlong contest to see off Jim Bolger's Twilight Payment.

Giuseppe Garibaldi and Southern France were third and fourth respectively.

O'Brien said: "He's a hardy horse and he'll also handle an ease in the ground. He'll be happy whenever he gets a lead, too. He's just a little bit lazy in front.

"They are all Leger horses that ran here and in York. We will divide up where they are going to go.

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"This horse will handle an ease in the ground, so if it gets soft in either place (Curragh or Doncaster) he'll be happy to go there, even though he handles good ground as well.

"Seamus' (Heffernan) horse (Southern France) will come on a lot from the run. Michael (Hussey) was delighted with his horse (Giuseppe Garibaldi). He said he'd be way better with a better pace, he said he was very keen and said that for a horse that ran that keen he ran an unbelievable race."

O'Brien also had news of Order Of St George, who has not run since finishing fourth to Stradivarius in the Ascot Gold Cup in June.

He said: "He's grand. He has a lot of miles on him and we are minding him away.

"He had a tough middle part of the season and I'm just hoping that we get back to the (Irish) Leger with him.

"He's at the stage now that we won't be taking any chances with him. I'm hoping to get him back for the Leger. I just have to mind him and that's why we didn't come here this year.

"There are plenty of other fellas there if we're not really happy with him."

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