Saturday 16 December 2017

Rest for St Nicholas

Aidan O'Brien has revealed it is "very likely" that St Nicholas Abbey will be given the rest of the year off after missing an engagement last weekend.

An unbeaten juvenile campaign promised plenty, but he has been off the track since being beaten into sixth when favourite for the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket in May.

Connections had hoped to see him return in last Sunday's Finale Stakes at the Curragh but having missed that, O'Brien feels it is too late in the year to now prepare him for a big race.

"He didn't have the run and it looks as though he'll stay in training next year, so it's very likely that he won't run again this season," he said.

Frankie Dettori insists he has no thoughts of hanging up his riding boots in the near future -- and could ride until he reaches 50.

The ever-popular Italian turns 40 before the year is out, but is arguably riding as well as ever and retirement is anything but on his mind.

As a big weekend beckons at Newmarket with the last staging of Champions' Day before its controversial reinvention at Ascot next year, Dettori said he is more than happy with his lot at the moment.

He said: "It's my life, I enjoy it and I have a good stable. I think I'm riding as well as I have ever done and I will just carry on."

Asked about the pending move of the Champion Stakes and other races to Ascot next year for an all-new showpiece day, Dettori said: "I have mixed feelings about it.

"It's going to be pretty different, but you know my love of Ascot so I'm not going to complain. It's a second home to me."

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