There would not be a more poignant winner of the Dubai Sheema Classic at Meydan than Aidan O’Brien’s St Nicholas Abbey.
The five-year-old is a son of the brilliant Montjeu, who sadly passed away this week. Already the winner of a Coronation Cup, he provided Joseph O’Brien with the biggest win of his career when swooping late in the Breeders’ Cup Turf.
“It would mean a lot for St Nicholas Abbey to win after the death of his sire Montjeu (who stood at Coolmore),” said Tom Magnier, son of John Magnier, one of the Coolmore triumvirate. Joseph O’Brien rode him brilliantly to win the Breeders’ Cup Turf and is on board again on Saturday.
“The lads who travelled with the horses are very pleased with their condition. Since I got here everyone has been telling me they horses look fantastic, and I agreed when I saw them this morning.
“We have six runners (at the meeting) this year; when there is such fantastic prize money you have got to send horses and compete for it. We are very much looking forward to it.”
Treasure Beach also represents Coolmore and O’Brien in the Sheema Classic, and a share has recently been bought by Jim and Fitri Hay.
Jockey Jamie Spencer said: “The horse has strong form but there are others in the race with strong credentials.”
“Cirrus Des Aigles has won a Champion Stakes, St Nicholas Abbey a Breeders’ Cup Turf, so mine will have to be somewhere near his best.”
Olivier Peslier is looking forward to teaming up with Cirrus Des Aigles for the first time.
The French-trained gelding proved something of a revelation last term, winning four times at Group Two and Three level before stepping up to the highest level in the Champion Stakes.
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