St Nicholas Abbey in glorious isolation as he wins a second Coronation CupPICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
St Nicholas Abbey lands second Coronation Cup
Report: Epsom, Saturday
Investec Coronation Cup (Group 1) 1m4f, 4yo+
ST NICHOLAS ABBEY stamped his authority at Epsom on Saturday when he romped clear to record back-to-back victories in the Coronation Cup.
Ridden with supreme confidence by Joseph O'Brien, St Nicholas Abbey cruised into the lead with two furlongs to run and showed an impressive turn of foot to move clear of Red Cadeaux, who was second, for a four-and-half-length success.
Impressed enough by this performance, William Hill cut the winner to 6-1 (from 8) for the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe in the autumn. Boylesports and Paddy Power go 7-1.
It was a scintillating performance from the 8-11 favourite, close to a career best so easily did he win.
You can argue about the calibre of the opposition, but the likes of Red Cadeaux and Masked Marvel certainly aren't bad - one a nostril away from being a Melbourne Cup winner, the other a St Leger hero - and the winner made them look like handicappers.
O'Brien dropped his whip, but he might as well have just thrown it away - he simply didn't need it. For a Group 1 victory this was a steering job.
"He’s a very special horse," said the winning rider. "He's come back to his old form. I got to the front too soon but I didn't want to disappoint him and I let him go forward."
His father was equally thrilled, and afterwards Aidan O’Brien
commented: "We're delighted, he settled lovely and got into a great rhythm and Joseph didn't break it when he started to come."
Aidan O'Brien: trains the winnerPICTURE: Getty Images
The son of Montjeu looked the winner turning into the straight and, unlike the struggle of 12 months ago, coming down the hill was not a problem and he swept past Masked Marvel and coasted home from there.
On this evidence St Nicholas Abbey will take some beating in all the top middle-distance contests for the rest of the season.
"He has an option in the Prince of Wales's Stakes at Royal Ascot and the King George and he has the option of the Arc at the end of the year. He's a very exciting horse," said the winning trainer.
The Ballydoyle maestro seems completely dominant this season and this was his sixth victory in the race in the last eight years.
All the talk has been of his Classic generation, but it also must be remembered what a fine roll of honour he has when keeping them in training beyond their three-year-old season.
St Nicholas Abbey, a horse whose Derby season was so sadly cut short, could be his trainer's greatest triumph yet.