Aidan O’Brien hails St Mark’s Basilica as star colt is retired

Colt’s last outing was the Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown earlier this month

Multiple Group One winner St Mark’s Basilica has been retired from racing. Photo: Nigel French/PA Wire

Multiple Group One winner St Mark’s Basilica has been retired from racing. Photo: Nigel French/PA Wire

 

The classic-winning colt St Mark’s Basilica has been retired to stud with Aidan O’Brien’s ringing endorsement as possibly the best horse he has trained.

Last year’s champion European two year old is unbeaten in four starts in 2021 including in the Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown earlier this month when just getting the better of Tarnawa and Poetic Flare.

St Mark’s Basilica has not been able for full work since then due to soreness in a leg and the Coolmore partnership have taken the decision to retire him to stud.

“St Mark’s Basilica is possibly the best horse we have ever had in Ballydoyle,” O’Brien said on Monday.

“He relaxes and quickens and has all the determination from Galileo (dam sire) and all the speed from Siyouni (sire.)” he added.

Winner of the Dewhurst Stakes as a juvenile, St Mark’s Basilica won the French 2,000 Guineas before memorably breaking his trainer’s duck in the Prix Du Jockey Club at Chantilly in June.

He followed that up with perhaps his best performance when proving much too good for the older horses Addeybb and Mishirff in the Eclipse at Sandown.

“He is the most exciting prospect we’ve retired from Ballydoyle since his late grandfather Galileo,” said Coolmore’s David O’Loughlin.

“European champion two-year-old, the highest-rated three-year-old in the world, a 1,300,000 guineas yearling by a top sire in Siyouni, a half-brother to another brilliant horse in Magna Grecia, both out of Galileo’s group-winning two-year-old Cabaret.

“He has everything and he’ll get terrific support from his owners’ broodmare band too,” he added.

The high-profile bloodstock news comes on the eve of the start of Ireland’s premier yearling sale, the Goffs Orby Sale, which starts in Kill on Tuesday.

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