St Nicholas Abbey to show his class again at Chester
The jury is certainly out on St Nicholas Abbey after two successive disappointing runs, but he can be backed to fulfil some of his juvenile promise in the Ormonde Stakes at Chester.
St Nicholas Abbey is 7/4 in the Chester Odds and he is certainly the class act in the five-runner field if he can rediscover the form of his youth.
Aidan O’Brien’s horse was touted as the top two-year-old of 2009 after impressively landing the Racing Post Trophy and this led to him being installed as the ante-post favourite for both the 2000 Guineas and Derby last year.
A disappointing run in the former meant that he failed to even make the Derby and he also failed to inspire in his only run since Newmarket, when a beaten odds-on favourite at the Curragh last month.
However, this seasonal reappearance can be seen as a warm-up for Chester and he can return to winning ways over an extended distance of 1m5f.
O’Brien and jockey Ryan Moore have also already formed a formidable partnership at Chester this week, joining forces for three winners, two in Group outings.
His biggest challenge is most certainly going to come from Harris Tweed, who is the 1/1 favourite.
Harris Tweed was very progressive last season and will benefit from being allowed to dictate the pace in the Ormonde Stakes.
Liam Jones will certainly be looking to gradually wind up the pace and get his rivals off the bridle early, although he is unproven in this class.
If he can establish a decent lead then he may prove tough to catch, but it is worth taking the gamble on St Nicholas Abbey retaining some of his two-year-old speed and building on his recent defeat at the Curragh.
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