Sunday 22 October 2017

Abbey sets new record

Neil Morrice

Aidan O'Brien's St Nicholas Abbey was given an inspired ride by the trainer's son Joseph to break the track record in going one place better than 12 months ago in the Dubai Sheema Classic at Meydan.

Both trainer and jockey were quick to acknowledge the decision to give St Nicholas Abbey a positive ride. "He's obviously a very high-class horse and I think I was wrong in holding him up in some of his races," said the trainer. "Derrick (Smith) and the lads wanted to be handier and that is how we played it."

A first Dubai World Cup night winner for O'Brien junior, St Nicholas Abbey has also given him a Breeders' Cup Turf success. On a great night for the O'Brien team, the Ryan Moore-ridden Lines Of Battle won the UAE Derby to book himself a crack at the Kentucky Derby and give Ballydoyle back-to-back successes in the race.

Victory in the Group Two event earned Lines Of Battle significant points under the qualification criteria for the Kentucky Derby, and O'Brien confirmed: "We are very pleased with him and we'll go to the Kentucky Derby with him."

Irish Independent

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