Saturday 25 November 2017

Six-time Group One winner St Nicholas Abbey dies

St Nicholas Abbey died this morning
St Nicholas Abbey died this morning

St Nicholas Abbey, Aidan O'Brien's triple Coronation Cup hero, died on Tuesday morning, confirmed Coolmore.

The brilliant seven-year-old, winner of six races at the highest level, had to be put down after he suffered a bout of colic.

A statement issued by Coolmore read: "Regretfully St Nicholas Abbey has lost his brave battle after suffering a colic this morning. Surgery revealed a severe strangulating colon torsion that was unviable and he had to be euthanized on humane grounds.

"This is extremely unfortunate as St Nicholas Abbey had been in terrific form, the laminitis was resolving very well and the fracture had healed better than expected.

"Coolmore would like to thank the surgeons, the international experts and all the staff at Fethard Equine Hospital who gave him such excellent care 24/7.

"We would also like to thank the multitude of well-wishers for all the cards and messages of support for St Nicholas Abbey. He will be buried in the graveyard here at Coolmore."

The son of Montjeu faced a multitude of problems as he strived to recover from a fractured pastern he sustained last summer.

O'Brien's star had to be retired after suffering a leg injury on the gallops at Ballydoyle when being prepared for the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes.

Just two days after he underwent a major leg operation at Fethard Equine Hospital last July, St Nicholas Abbey had to have emergency surgery to be treated for colic.

He then had a further setback in August when it was discovered a steel weight-bearing pin in a cannon bone had broken, and then had a further serious blow in October with "mild laminitic changes in the left fore".

St Nicholas Abbey burst on to the scene in August 2009 at the Curragh, where he won a maiden by four lengths, and signed off as an unbeaten juvenile with a most impressive display in the Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster.

He never ran again as a three-year-old after suffering defeat in the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket, but won the first of three Coronation Cups at Epsom in June 2011.

During the same year he also claimed the Breeders' Cup Turf under Joseph O'Brien, who entered the record books as the youngest rider to win at the meeting.

Last March he showed he was as good as ever when winning the Dubai Sheema Classic at Meydan.

St Nicholas Abbey's third Coronation triumph last June - his final racecourse appearance - took his career earnings to almost £5million.

Epsom racecourse tweeted: "We're all saddened to hear that St Nicholas Abbey has lost his battle today and will forever hold fond memories of his three Coronation Cup wins."

St Nicholas Abbey wins the 2011 Breeders Cup turf

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