st nicholas abbey and johnny murtagh
st nicholas abbey and johnny murtagh

St Nicholas Abbey and Johnny Murtagh

(Photo : Daily Mail)


Epsom Downs, Turf, 2423m

5 June 2010

St Nicholas Abbey, the long time favourite for Saturday’s Investec Derby at Epson Downs, has been ruled out of the race by trainer Aidan O’Brien. He was set to do his final piece of work after failing to sparkle on Friday.

“St Nicholas Abbey was due to work first thing, however when he came out of his box we noticed he was stiff behind. He had looked slightly stiff on Monday evening. His work on Friday last was a little lacklustre for him and that was the first time we had seen anything different but he was fine afterwards”

“He was immediately examined and scanned by our vets this morning. They found a slight muscle injury high up in his hind quarter. This meant he could not work today and we were advised to give him an easy few days”

“Obviously this will preclude him from running in the Derby on Saturday. We always thought St Nicholas Abbey could walk on water and it is very unfortunate for all concerned to have a setback like this so close to the big race,” said Aidan O’Brien.

If the betting is any guide, Johnny Murtagh may well ride Jan Vermeer(Montjeu), who is as short as 13/8 favourite, and Midas Touch (Galileo) and Cape Blanco (Galileo) are other strong contenders for O’Brien, though the latter is more likely to run in the Gr.1 Prix du Jockey-Club on Sunday.

Godolphin are likely to have three in the line-up on Saturday after Rewilding (Tiger Hill) and Buzzword (Pivotal) were supplemented at a combined cost of £150,000. The decision was made to supplement Buzzword after he worked well on Saturday and he was introduced in the betting at 50/1. They are both trained by Mahmoud Al Zarooni, Godolphin’s second trainer, while Saeed bin Suroor, who has yet to train the winner of the Derby, hasAl Zir (Medaglio d’Oro) entered.

Godolphin Racing Manager Simon Crisford confirmed yesterday that Kieren Fallon, who has ridden the winner of the Derby three times, has been booked to ride Al Zir, with Frankie Dettori on Rewilding and Ahmed Ajtebi switching to Buzzword.

Extract form European Bloodstock News