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HRN Original Blog:
Zipse At The Track

St Nicholas Abbey (and Europe) is too strong

The European Breeders’ Cup Turf, from now on, that is what it shall be called.


This afternoon it was St Nicholas Abbey who carried the torch for the supreme turf continent in the world. Biding his time and covered up behind horses for the first ten furlongs, the bay son of Montjeu made a powerful and decisive move as the Breeders' Cup Turf field straightened out and stormed home past Sea Moon and Brilliant Speed to win going away by 2 ¼ lengths.

 
The Turf not only was reaffirmation of European dominance, but also turned out to be a family affair as St Nicholas Abbey was piloted by Joseph O’Brien, son of the trainer, Aidan O’Brien.


“It’s a dream come true. I rode him twice before and this is my first time winning on him. He relaxed lovely. We had a nice pace and he picked up where it mattered. It wasn’t a mad pace and he was comfortable and relaxed great,” said the younger O’Brien. “Obviously today it’s an easier track for him (than Longchamp). I think he was a little better going left-handed here than right-handed in the Arc (de Triomphe). The Arc was a rough race and sometimes the best horse doesn’t always win. He traveled well today and looked great and picked up great.”


Once thought of as a future super horse across the pond, it’s been a bit of an on again, off again career for the Irish runner. An undefeated two-year-old champion in 2009, St Nicholas Abbey had physical setbacks and went winless in his only go last year. This year, he showed flashes of brilliance, but was beaten in his last three starts including a fifth place finish in last month’s Arc.

 

None of that mattered today though, as he proved much the best against some of the best turf horses in the world, or make that some of the best turf horses from Europe, because as we all know, that is one in the same.


 

 

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Older Comments about St Nicholas Abbey (and Europe) is too strong...

Very Nice to see Aidan O'Brien back in the Winners Circle at the BC ,Very nice wins by Wrote and St.Nicholas Abbey! Had them both,Congrats Team O'Brien!
I'm really happy for Aidan and young Joseph O'Brien. But most of all, I'm really happy for St. Nicholas Abbey winning the BC Turf. Everyone in the UK had St Nicholas Abbey down as the "second coming" when he went unbeaten as a 2yr.old in 2009, and ended that season with win's in the G2 Beresford Stakes in Ireland, and by mauling the G1 Racing Post Trophy field at Doncaster. Then he had a disappointing 6th place finish in the G1 English 2000 Guineas as a 3yr.old as a heavy favorite to win the race, and everyone wrote St Nicholas Abbey off. He's come back this season as a 4yr.old and had a really terrific season from top to bottom. He won the G3 Ormonde Stakes at Chester over 1-3/4. Then defeated Midday at Epsom in the G1 Coronation Cup over 1-1/2. He also had very respectable run's in the G2 Prix Foy and the G1 Prix De l' Arc De Triomphe at Longchamp this season, too. I backed Sea Moon to win the BC Turf. But St. Nicholas Abbey winning the race certainly wasn't a shock result. Both of the horses that Ballydoyle had in the race are top class on their best day.

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Meet Brian Zipse 

Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing since birth. Taken to the races at a very young age, he has been lucky enough to see all the greats in person from Secretariat and Ruffian through Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta. Before coming to the Nation, Brian displayed his love for the sport through the development of his horse racing website, which quickly became one of the most popular blogs in the game. 
  
As Managing Editor of Horse Racing Nation, Brian authors a daily column as Zipse at the Track, or ZATT for short, and adds his editorial flare to the overall content of the website. Brian also serves on the the Board of Directors of ReRun Thoroughbred Adoption and is a Vox Populi committee member. 
  
A graduate of DePaul University, Brian lives in Suburban Chicago with his wife Candice and daughter Kendra, where he is a professional golf instructor when he is not following the horses.