Photo: Eclipse Sportswire - Ryan Lasek
For all of you following the four-month long struggle for life of one of the world's finest thoroughbreds, like I am, I wanted to pass on the most recent news. Unfortunately, the latest report on St Nicholas Abbey is not the best. The following comes straight from the Coolmore website of this morning ...
St Nicholas Abbey is struggling to overcome the laminitis in his left front foot, this is indeed life threatening and is the single biggest complication he has faced since his initial lifesaving surgery. The worry is that if the condition progresses and further sinking of the pedal bone takes place it may prolapse through the sole of his foot. In spite of this St Nicholas Abbey is very comfortable, being just a little ouchy when walking in his first steps and better thereafter, his appetite and demeanour remain incredibly good. His intensive veterinary treatment continues and includes maggot therapy for the slight discharge at the toe of the laminitic foot and a daily session on a vibrating plate.The next few weeks are critical for St Nicholas Abbey – we are just hoping that he can turn the corner.
When I think of St Nicholas Abbey, I think of all the promise he carried as a juvenile in Europe. The son of Montjeu truly could have been any kind back in 2009, but then his three-year-old season was a bust. All of that potential he had at two, was seemingly lost as he finished sixth as the English 2000 Guineas favorite. Never to be seen again at three, St Nicholas Abbey had all but fallen off the racing map. His connections continued to believe in him, and while not unbeatable at four, he did come back to be a fine runner.
Victory in the Coronation Cup was a highlight of his European season, but it was in his trip to America where we got to see what St Nicholas Abbey was all about. Dominating the 2011 Breeders' Cup Turf, who can ever forget the father-son duo of trainer Aiden O'Brien, and 18-year-old rider, Joseph O'Brien celebrating after the win. It was fun to see, but more than that, I remember the powerful closing kick of a stunning example of a thoroughbred. St Nicholas Abbey was majestic, and to see him in person was memorable.
More recently, we remember St Nicholas Abbey rebuking a strong challenge from the Japanese supermare, Gentildonna in the Dubai Sheema Classic, below, and another strong run for his third win in the Group 1 Coronation Cup. I continue to hold out hope that this beautiful racehorse can win one more battle ... this time for his life.