St Nicholas Abbey showed once again that he is one of the best turf horses in the world by capturing his third straight Investec Coronation Cup (Eng-I) at Epsom June 1.
The 6-year-old horse by Montjeu provided trainer Aidan O'Brien with his seventh winner out of the last nine runnings of the race, a remarkable accomplishment.
A field of five went to the post in the Coronation Cup. St Nicholas Abbey's main competition appeared to be either the Ed Dunlop-trained Joshua Tree, a two-time winner of the G1 Pattison Canadian International, and the globetrotting Dunaden, winner of the BMW Caulfield Cup (Aus-I). In addition to St Nicholas Abbey, O'Brien was also represented by Chamonix, a listed stakes winner entered to ensure a decent pace. The field was rounded out by Chapter Seven, entered as a pacemaker for Dunaden.
As expected, both Chaminox and Chapter Seven went immediately to the front at the break, opening up a three to four-length lead on the rest of the field. Joshua Tree tracked them from third, while St Nicholas Abbey and Dunaden were content to race at the rear.
The order remained the same throughout the first nine furlongs of the race, as the three main contenders played a game of cat-and-mouse behind the pacemakers. With three furlongs remaining, jockey Joseph O'Brien asked St Nicholas Abbey for more and he responded, reeling in the frontrunners and taking the lead with two furlongs remaining.
At that point the race was over, as St Nicholas Abbey continued to draw off to a impressive 3 3/4-length victory. Dunaden tried to cut into St Nicholas Abbey's lead, but in the end was no match for the winner and had to settle for second. It was another seven lengths back to Joshua Tree in third.
Final time for the 12 furlongs was 2:37.76 over the good to soft going.
The victory in the Coronation Cup was the sixth Group 1 victory for St Nicholas Abbey, who improved his overall record to nine wins in 21 starts.
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