Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 29 July 2014

Abbey has stamp of a Classic winner

St. Nicholas Abbey is poised to dominate the 2010 Classics after Aidan O'Brien saddled the unbeaten colt to a near four-length blitz in the Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster.

Sea The Stars emulated Nashwan's 1989 efforts by becoming the first to land the Guineas-Derby double since during this year's stellar campaign - and the name of St Nicholas Abbey is well clear in the ante-post markets for both races after his breathtaking win under Johnny Murtagh.

The son of Montjeu had been effortless in scooping two events in Ireland, including the Beresford Stakes won by Sea The Stars 12 months ago and the manner of his odds-on success in that race at the Curragh last month ensured he was the number one pick for the final Group One event of the domestic calendar.

The 13-8 favourite swung along sweetly on the bridle as his rivals began to crack and the response was electric when Murtagh asked his mount to make his mark over a furlong out.

He cut between a quality field - which contained the first four in the Derby market - in supreme fashion and Murtagh had to do very little from high above as St Nicholas Abbey used his lengthy stride to quicken away.

Elusive Pimpernel gave determined chase through the final furlong but never looked like getting there at any stage and was still three and three-quarter lengths adrift crossing the line.

Godolphin's Al Zir was a further two and a half lengths away in third under Frankie Dettori.

The win was O'Brien's fifth in the Racing Post Trophy and St Nicholas Abbey is the 5-2 favourite with Boylesports, Paddy Power and totesport for the Investec Derby.

Should he turn out at Epsom on the first Saturday of June he will bid to match O'Brien's High Chaparral (2001), along with Authorized and Motivator, as Town Moor winners who have followed up in the blue riband since the turn of the century.

O'Brien said: “He is bred to stay but he has plenty of speed and a mile won't be a problem.”

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