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Series stars to stud: St Nicholas Abbey

20 Nov 2013

In the latest part of our Series stars to stud features, we take a look at the three-time winner of the Coronation Cup, St Nicholas Abbey.

St Nicholas Abbey on his way to winning his third Coronation Cup. Image copyright of

There are not many horses that Aidan O’Brien will sing the praises of at such a young age – who would blame him with the weaponry he has on offer year after year. But, St Nicholas Abbey was one of those.

As a two-year-old, the son of Montjeu was an impressive victor of the Racing Post Trophy, beating Elusive Pimpernel by three and three quarter lengths.

The victory, added with the public confidence from his trainer, meant that only a three-year-old career glittered with Classic and Group 1 success would do. Unfortunately, it did not materialise.

After a huge disappointment in the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket to finish sixth, St Nicholas Abbey would not run for the rest of the season – missing a tilt at the Investec Derby for which he was the antepost favourite for.

The decision to rest the Coolmore-owned horse turned out to be the right one.

Following his break, St Nicholas Abbey’s career would flourish.

Firstly when winning the Ormonde Stakes at Chester, before embarking overseas to reap the Grade and Group 1 success in America and Dubai.

It is, however, St Nicholas Abbey’s three successive victories in the Coronation Cup at Epsom that will live longest in the memory for racing fanatics.

Middle distance heroine Midday, fans’ favourite Red Cadeaux, Melbourne Cup winner Dunaden and St Leger champion Masked Marvel are some of the names that the Ballydoyle star cruised past at Epsom in those three years.

Though, in what was being dubbed as his final campaign, St Nicholas Abbey’s career would be sadly cut short due to injury in Ireland on the gallops only days before attempting to win the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot.

Since that day, he has been recovering from a complex operation to fuse his pastern and is recuperating well.

St Nicholas Abbey is expected to make a full recovery from his injury, where the Champions Series star is set to take up stallion duties at Coolmore Stud alongside top-class sires Galileo, High Chaparral and Excelebration.