Windsor Palace floors Abbey in Mooresbridge
Report: Curragh, Monday
High Chaparral European Breeders Fund Mooresbridge Stakes (Group 3) 1m2f, 4yo+
JOSEPH O'BRIEN, who took all the accolades for his brilliant ride on Camelot, was left red-faced when allowing stablemate and pacemaker Windsor Palace too much rope on 2-5 favourite St Nicholas Abbey.
On softer ground than he would like over a trip short of his optimum, St Nicholas Abbey was positioned well off the solid gallop set by stablemates Robin Hood and 66-1 shot Windsor Palace, who shared the lead well clear of the field.
It was ten lengths back to Murtagh and O'Brien on Sharestan and St Nicholas Abbey, and despite Murtagh realising the leaders weren't coming back and getting after his mount, O'Brien didn't make his move until two furlongs out.
He switched St Nicholas Abbey and the pair began to make headway but it was too little too late and they finished a length behind Windsor Palace and Colm O'Donoghue.
It arguably wasn't O'Brien's finest hour, but hot on the heels of another apparent pacemaker Homecoming Queen winning the 1,000 Guineas, Windsor Palace served as yet another reminder of the strength in depth Ballydoyle possess.
Aidan O'Brien defended his son, saying: "It was St Nic's first run back and the last thing Joseph wanted to do was murder him on his first run back from Dubai. This horse [Windsor Palace] had a good run here the last day and is a solid horse.
"He [St Nicholas Abbey] is not a heavy ground horse and Joseph let him find himself. He will go for the Coronation next."