St Nicholas Abbey strikes for Coolmore

Sea The Stars dominated the English classics last year and lightning could strike twice with Coolmore colt St Nicholas Abbey in 2010.

St Nicholas Abbey (3c Montjeu – Leaping Water by Sure Blade) will start one of the shortest-priced favourites in recent times when he lines up in the English 2000 Guineas on Saturday.  

Trainer Aidan O’Brien will have three starters in a bid for his sixth English 2000 Guineas, however, Fencing Master (Oratorio) and Viscount Nelson. (Giant’s Causeway) aren’t likely to trouble their star stablemate.

St Nicholas Abbey rounded off an unbeaten juvenile campaign last year with an awesome display in the G1 Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster and bookmakers are expected to serve him up in the red at Newmarket.

“He has loads of speed and has gears which is a good sign,” O’Brien said.  “He is a lovely-moving horse and very athletic.  You would hope he would go on and get the Derby trip.”

St Nicholas Abbey was a 200,000gns buy at the 2008 Tattersalls October yearling sale for Coolmore owner John Magnier and his associates Derrick Smith and Michael Tabor.

He is a younger half-brother to Grammarian (Definite Article) who was a Group 2 winner up to 2400m.  Their dam Leaping Water is an unraced half-sister to the G1 winners Ballingarry (Sadler’s Wells), Starborough (Soviet Star) and Aristotle (Sadler’s Wells).

His sire Montjeu (Sadler’s Wells) is a Coolmore masterpiece.  He was a G1 winner of the 1999 French and Irish Derbies before claiming the Arc de Triomphe later that year.

Hurricane Run followed in the footsteps of his sire winning the 1995 Irish Derby and Arc de Triomphe and some of his other classics winners since then include Motivator (Epsom Derby), Scorpion (English St Leger), Fame And Glory (Irish Derby), Authorized (Epsom Derby), Frozen Fire (Irish Derby) and Montare (French St Leger).

Montjeu has also sired the AJC Australian Derby winners Nom Du Jeu and Roman Emperor.  

St Nicholas Abbey is already been billed as the heir apparent to Sea The Stars (Cape Cross).  Having a two colts of that quality two years running would seem almost impossible but it has happened before.

No one though there would be another Nijinsky so soon after his ground-breaking year in 1970.  But 12 months later racegoers welcomed superstars Brigadier Gerard and Mill Reef!

“I think it probably is a lot to expect him to be the next Sea The Stars,” William Hill’s Kate Miller explained.  “I thought I would never see a horse that exciting in my lifetime when he won the Arc de Triomphe.  But if St Nicholas Abbey does turn out to be another wonder horse, then we will welcome him with open arms.”