Sport Horse Racing

Monday 20 November 2017

Bolger's Leather to carry Irish hopes in King George

Bolger: Chasing Ascot's big prize
Bolger: Chasing Ascot's big prize

Thomas Kelly

TRADING Leather will be Ireland's sole representative in tomorrow's King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes after Aidan O'Brien withdrew his two remaining entries.

St Nicholas Abbey had been the big Ballydoyle hope at Ascot but in the wake of his career-ending leg injury, O'Brien opted to take out Chamonix and Ernest Hemingway.

The original ante-post favourite is currently recuperating in intensive care after undergoing complex surgery following his injury earlier this week.

St Nicholas Abbey underwent an operation on Wednesday, but still has "many bridges to cross before he is considered out of danger", according to Coolmore Stud which tweeted: "After a lengthy surgery to fuse the pastern, St Nicholas Abbey is recuperating in intensive care at John Halley's Fethard Equine Hospital.

"Surgery was carried out at Fethard Equine Hospital in consultation with Dr Dean Richardson, head of surgery at New Bolton Centre Pennsylvania, along with Ger Kelly and Tom O'Brien.

"St Nicholas Abbey will remain in intensive care for some time and has many bridges to cross before he is considered out of danger.

"This morning he is well and comfortable and back enjoying his hay. We are lucky he is so fit and has a marvellous attitude and temperament, which will be vital for his long recovery."

French star Cirrus Des Aigles is likely to go off a short-priced favourite, while Very Nice Name, trained by Alban de Mieulle, is another Gallic raider with high hopes. Germany will be represented by the Andreas Wohler-trained Novellist, which had Cirrus Des Aigles back in fifth when winning last month's Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud.

Apart from Jim Bolger's Trading Leather, which bids to follow up his Irish Derby heroics, the only other three-year-old in the line-up is the Michael Stoute-trained Hillstar after the King Edward VII Stakes winner was supplemented at a cost of £75,000.

Completing the line-up are Ed Dunlop's globetrotter Red Cadeaux, Mark Johnston's Universal and the Roger Varian-trained Ektihaam.

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