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Racing Post Trophy 2009  

Doncaster Racecourse

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St Nicholas Abbey Triumphs in Racing Post Trophy
24/10/09

1 St Nicholas Abbey 13/8F
2 Elusive Pimpernel 4/1
3 Al Zir 9/2
NR: Big Audio (IRE)
11 ran Distances: 3¾l, 2½l, nk
TIME 1m 39.62s (slow by 2.82s)

Aidan O'Brien has had to get used to handing out sporting handshakes after some of the biggest races this season, but with no Sea The Stars to worry about the trainer can rightfully expect normal service to be resumed in 2010 after St Nicholas Abbey impressively took the Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster.

St Nicholas Abbey
© Racehorse Photos

St Nicholas Abbey
The 13-8 favourite looked to have a stiff task on his hands against a number of potentially exciting rivals, but those punters who were happy to put their faith and money in the positive vibes emanating from Ballydoyle never had much to worry about. "It was over in a matter of strides," said his jockey, Johnny Murtagh, and how right he was.

Seeing a gap appear between rivals with two furlongs to run, Murtagh asked St Nicholas Abbey to quicken up and the result was immediate as he burst through and quickly went clear of his rivals.

Elusive Pimpernel and Al Zir emerged with credit in second and third, despite losing their unbeaten records, but neither were in the same league as the winner who was eased up to score by three and three-quarter lengths.

"He's a natural athlete and he knows what to do," added Murtagh. "To come here and do that on just his third run I'd say he has to be very special. I'll be dreaming through the winter about him." Coral offer 7-2 about him for next year's Derby. Ladbrokes and William Hill are 3-1.

The victory also confirmed the status of Montjeu as the natural successor to Sadler's Wells as the king among the Ballydoyle stallions. From six crops, he has sired the winner of this race three times and his previous two (Authorized and Motivator) went on to win the Derby the following year.

That pair, like their sire, showed flashes of temperament that were far outweighed by their considerable talent on the track. St Nicholas Abbey, who was on his toes despite the attention of two handlers in the parade ring, looks very much in the same mould.

"He walks very long and very light – he is an athlete," said O'Brien. "He's a natural. That's the bottom line. The lad who rides him at home said to Johnny you just move once on him and he takes off. When you see that sort of turn of foot, it's impressive. It was effortless."

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