Thread: Palace holds off St Nick
7th May 2012 #1
Palace holds off St Nick
There was a huge shock in the High Chaparral European Breeders Fund Mooresbridge Stakes at the Curragh as perennial pacemaker and 66-1 shot Windsor Palace held on under Colm O'Donoghue.
Aidan O'Brien's seven-year-old has been setting a strong gallop for his more esteemed stable companions for the past few seasons, with multiple Group One winner St Nicholas Abbey the major stable fancy on this occasion.
Windsor Palace was joined by the third O'Brien runner, Robin Hood, at the head of affairs from an early stage and the two of them had opened up a big lead rounding the home turn, with Joseph O'Brien seemingly content on 2-5 favourite St Nicholas Abbey a long way back.
But it soon became evident that the front two were not stopping and both O'Brien and Johnny Murtagh on Sharestan had to get to work approaching the final furlong.
The two market principals were finding their stride late on, but it was all too late as Windsor Palace got home by a length from St Nicholas Abbey, with Sharestan third.
The winning trainer said: "He (Windsor Palace) had a good run here the last day (third behind Excelebration) and he's a soft ground horse.
"We knew St Nicholas Abbey wasn't a heavy ground horse, everyone knows that. Joseph just let him find himself there and it was his first run back after Dubai.
"He (St Nicholas Abbey) ran a lovely race and we're delighted with him. You'd be happier if he won but he didn't, but there's always another day. The Coronation Cup will be next for him."
A stewards' inquiry was held into the running and riding of St Nicholas Abbey, and after viewing the video of the race and considering the evidence, the officials noted the explanations offered by both trainer and jockey with reference to the horse being unsuited by the ground.
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