St Nicholas Abbey (5h Montjeu-Leaping Water, by Sure Blade) put in one of his best-ever performers at Epsom on Saturday when running away with the G1 Coronation Cup.
The son of Montjeu was winning his fourth G1 contest as he took the famous Epsom mile and a half contest for a second consecutive year.
Jockey Joseph O’Brien bided his time before powering up the Epsom hill to beat Red Cadeaux by four and a half lengths.
Winning trainer Aidan O’Brien said: “He settled lovely and got into a great rhythm, which Joseph didn’t break when he started to come. He has the option of the G1 Prince Of Wales’s Stakes (at Royal Ascot) and then the option of the G1 King George & Queen Elizabeth Stakes and obviously the G1 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at the end of the season. He has all of those options and he is a very exciting horse. We are delighted to be here and part of it. It’s a real privilege and it’s great to be here.”
Joseph O’Brien added:”When he goes to sleep early in his races, he is a very special horse. He has always shown a lot of ability and he is really coming to his old form.
“I got to the front too soon – he picked the bit up and I didn’t was to disappoint him so I just let him go forward. When he relaxes and quickens up like that, it takes a very good horse to go near him.”
Derrick Smith, whose colours were carried to victory by St Nicholas Abbey, continued: “He has vindicated all that we knew about him. When he was two, he won the G1 Racing Post Trophy and last year, in the Breeders’ Cup – I think today was as good again.
“Joseph said that he put the horse to sleep in the early part of the race and he went to the front sooner than he wanted to. It was just a procession really, it was very, very, very impressive.”