Wednesday 21 February 2018

O'Brien under no pressure to follow Stars with Nicholas

Aidan O'Brien has described English 2,000 Guineas and Derby favourite St Nicholas Abbey as "unusual" as he prepares the colt for a Classic campaign.

The son of Montjeu remained unbeaten through his two-year-old campaign and created a huge impression when waltzing away with the Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster.

While O'Brien feels under no pressure to try and emulate Sea The Stars, which won both the Guineas and Derby last year, he does admit that St Nicholas Abbey appears to have all the attributes to become a star.

"Everything is fine with him, it is so far so good," said O'Brien. "He looked a very exciting horse indeed last year and we are very excited about this year with him, but at the moment he is just ticking over like them all.

"Everyone saw last year that he looked a very unusual horse. He's by Montjeu, but he has loads of speed and obviously loads of class. He can cruise through his races and quicken.

"He'll be trained with Classics in mind but he does look very unusual at the moment. We're under no pressure to follow what Sea The Stars did last year, we'll let the horse tell us when he is ready to run and circumstances change every year. We'll just play it by ear and take one day at a time."

O'Brien has admitted he faces a race against time to get Lillie Langtry fit for the English 1,000 Guineas on May 2. The Danehill Dancer filly won the Timeform Fillies' 800 at Newmarket but picked up an injury when competing at the Breeders' Cup.

"She picked up an injury at the Breeders' Cup, we are hoping she is going to be back but I'm not sure if she'll be back in time for the Guineas," said O'Brien. "She has done well, she's in light exercise. It is so far so good for her but I wouldn't be sure she'd be back for the Guineas."

Lillie Langtry is as low as 8/1 for the 1,000 Guineas.

Irish Independent

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