Sunday 17 November 2019

Abbey will flourish -- O'Brien

Aidan O'Brien is looking forward to running St Nicholas Abbey again in the wake of the colt bouncing back to form at Chester last Friday.

The four-year-old had not won since lifting the Racing Post Trophy in October 2009 before he spread-eagled the field in the Ormonde Stakes.

The son of Montjeu has lots of entries, including the Tattersalls Gold Cup, the Coronation Cup, Ascot Gold Cup and Coral-Eclipse.

"I felt I made a total mess of him last year by running him in the (English) 2,000 Guineas," the Ballydoyle trainer stated. "It just went wrong one day after another and that's why we kind of pulled up and didn't get to run him at the end.

"It was lovely to see him start back at The Curragh (third to Unaccompanied). He ran a lovely race and came forward from it. We were delighted the other day and Ryan (Moore) was pleased with him.

"You saw what he did at Chester and you couldn't say he wasn't back to his best when he put up a performance like that. Hopefully he'll go on to his third run now."

O'Brien revealed that Master Of Hounds is likely to return to America for the Belmont Stakes on the back of his creditable fifth in the Kentucky Derby as he feels the third leg of the American Triple Crown on June 11 will suit the Kingmambo colt.

O'Brien's Amazing Beauty, which landed an all-weather maiden at Dundalk last month, will take on Henry Cecil's much-vaunted Arizona Jewel in tomorrow's Tattersalls Musidora Stakes at York. There are just three other entries, headed by the Richard Fahey-trained Barefoot Lady.

Meanwhile, Memory passed a stalls test at Kempton yesterday morning ahead a mission to redeem herself in Sunday's French 1,000 Guineas.

Richard Hannon's filly, which is owned by Highclere Thoroughbred Racing, stood still when the gates opened in the Newmarket equivalent at the beginning of the month and eventually came home a distant last.

Hannon is not banking on practice making perfect, but hopes she can return to the form she showed when winning the Albany and Cherry Hinton Stakes as a two-year-old.

"Memory has never been straight-forward at home but, ironically, she has never given us any problem at the stalls. The Guineas was such a disappointment for everyone involved. Memory had wintered so well and her preparation could not have gone any better, but she let us down and left us all somewhat embarrassed.

"We know that she is a very talented filly and, hopefully, we will see the other side of her character in France on Sunday."

Irish Independent

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