Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 December 2014

Coronation treble for St Nick

St Nicholas Abbey clears away to win the Coronation Cup
St Nicholas Abbey clears away to win the Coronation Cup

St Nicholas Abbey completed a historic hat-trick in terrific style as he became the first horse to win the Investec Coronation Cup at Epsom for a third time.

Aidan O'Brien's top-class six-year-old settled well behind the pacesetters Chapter Seven and Chamonix and moved up smoothly to take the lead at the two-furlong pole in the Group One contest.

Jockey Joseph O'Brien had no worries after that as St Nicholas Abbey (30-100 favourite) quickened away and was always holding his market rival Dunaden, passing the post with three and three-quarter lengths to spare.

O'Brien jnr said: "Whatever it is over the winter he's matured, he lobs down to the start on a long rein and you can put him where you like in his races.

"On his blow at home the other morning he was exceptional, better than he has ever been. He's a force to be reckoned with this year, I don't see why he can't be the best around over middle distances."

O'Brien snr added: "He's an incredible horse and has everything you want in a racehorse, he quickens, he travels and is a joy to be around. Everyone has done a good job with him at home and he's a privilege to be involved with.

"Joseph said he has been very fresh the last few weeks and Chamonix leads him at home, which is why he ran. It's been a while since he ran. He's a great traveller, comes down the hill well and slowly moves up the gears, it was great.

"What everyone forgets is how much speed this lad showed as a two-year-old, he had that class all the time. The lads said they might bring him back for Ascot, maybe the Hardwicke, on the way to the King George."

Co-owner Derrick Smith said: "I loved him from the moment he first ran and I've loved him all the way through. He disappointed in his three-year-old career but since then he's got better and better and, dare I say it, I think he's better than he ever was. The King George comes to mind and we might go for the Hardwicke, we'll just keep running him."

Mikel Delzangles, trainer of Dunaden, said: "I think that's as good as he is compared to St Nicholas Abbey. He ran a good race, but that's it. The big plan is to have him as well as today on the first Sunday in October (for the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe). He will prepare for that in the Prix Foy, and maybe he will run once more before that."

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