Belfast Telegraph

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Abbey back in the habit

Aidan O'Brien wants St Nicholas Abbey to show he remains a colt of the highest calibre by claiming Group One honours in Friday's Investec Coronation Cup.

A spellbinding juvenile campaign, rounded off by success in the Racing Post Trophy, had many marking him down as the second coming, but things didn;t go right for him before he showed the old sparkle remained when running out a nine-length winner of Chester's Ormonde Stakes.

O'Brien told At The Races: "We were obviously delighted with him at Chester and we were happy with his first run at the Curragh. That was his first run in a long time, the ground was very soft and it was just a messy race."

He added: "He came out of the race very well and we were looking forward to Chester with him, as we always thought he was a very brilliant horse.

"He was always very special and everyone saw that as a two-year-old. The mistake I made was training him for the Guineas, as it was probably a rushed preparation.

"It all happened too quick and we paid the penalty for doing it. He had a hard race before he was ready for it and it just set him back, so we just put a line through the whole season.

"You always try and learn from mistakes. We took a chance and I probably shouldn't have done it. We're lucky, as we don't think it has left a scar on him and we've been very happy with him since Chester.

"This is his first step up into Group One company as a four-year-old so it is a big jump up, but we're happy with him and it will be a good test for him. He got the trip well in Chester and we're looking forward to the run."


From Belfast Telegraph