Ailing St Nicholas Abbey making slow recovery

Six-times Group One winner had to be retired after fracturing pastern


Coolmore Stud report St Nicholas Abbey to have had his “best week” since his first operation in July.

Aidan O’Brien’s six-times Group One winner had to be retired after fracturing a pastern on the gallops at Ballydoyle.

A few days after surgery, the six-year-old contracted colic, and he had a further setback last week when it was discovered a steel weight-bearing pin in a cannon bone had broken.

An update on read: “While still having a guarded prognosis, St Nicholas Abbey has had his best week since his initial surgery.

“Since the pin removal his weight bearing on the injured leg has improved gradually and he is walking as well as can be expected with a cast.

“St Nicholas Abbey seems more content, lying down several times a night to rest and his appetite is excellent so he is starting to thrive.

Upbeat prognosis
“His temperature has stabilised and blood work has normalised.

“Surgeons Dr Kelly & Dr O’Brien are more upbeat on his prognosis. However there are many weeks to go before St Nicholas Abbey is out of danger.”

Meanwhile, the going at Leopardstown has been changed to good to firm after officials finished watering the track on Tuesday ahead of Saturday’s high-profile fixture .

Parts of the circuit were described as firm on Monday, but there has been a slight ease in conditions.

Leopardstown chief executive Pat Keogh is not expecting any further watering, with rain forecast later in the week.

“Parts of the track were firm on Monday, but we watered Monday afternoon and on Tuesday and now it’s good to firm all round. We’ve ceased watering. There could be some rain coming in on Friday or Saturday, so we’ll just have to monitor things as we go along. There is a lovely covering of grass and the track is in beautiful condition,” said Keogh.

Leopardstown stages an eight-race card on Saturday, with the Red Mills Irish Champion Stakes taking top billing.

Elusive Kate has been confirmed an intended runner in the Coolmore Fusaichi Pegasus Matron Stakes at Leopardstown on Saturday.

John Gosden’s filly has enjoyed an excellent season, clinching the third and fourth Group One victories of her career in the Falmouth Stakes at Newmarket and the Prix Rothschild at Deauville.

Hoping for cut in ground
She failed to land a significant blow when seventh in Deauville’s Prix Jacques le Marois, but will be a hot favourite to get back on the winning trail in Ireland this weekend.

Patrick Barbe, racing manager for owner Teruya Yoshida, said: “It is so far, so good. I think she is going to run on Saturday. The ground was a bit too firm for her in the Jacques le Marois and the race . . . was over a second quicker than the Rothschild, but she was far from disgraced.”

Barbe is hoping to see some cut in the ground at Leopardstown, which could happen as rain is forecast on Friday and Saturday.

He said: “We wouldn’t want the ground to be too heavy. If it is on the soft side of good that would be perfect.”