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Classic glory in Dubai for Aidan O'Brien
Neil Morrice
06:33 AEST Mon Apr 1 2013

Coolmore stalwart St Nicholas Abbey has set a 2400 metre track record at Meydan in winning the Dubai Sheema Classic.

Given an inspired ride by Joseph O'Brien, the Aidan O'Brien-trained six-year-old avenged his close second last year to Cirrus des Aigles when he beat Japanese mare Gentildonna.

St Nicholas Abbey won with something in hand in 2:27.70s, with 2-1/4 lengths the official margin.

"He's obviously a very high-class horse and I think I was wrong in holding him up in some of his races," Aidan O'Brien said.

"Gentildonna is obviously a very high-class filly and I thought she was going to put us under pressure, but our lad found extra.

"He's a very good horse and Joseph was very happy with the ground and with the way he had been working in the build up to the race.

"He's great, he is in great shape and remember he was a top two-year-old who won the Racing Post Trophy but then lost his form at three.

"To come back like he has to be a top middle-distance horse is a credit to him."

A first Dubai World Cup night winner for the trainer's son, St Nicholas Abbey has also given him a Breeders' Cup Turf success and is close to his heart.

"He's tough and he really loved the ground," he said.

"I thought the track rode really well for him.

"It's a dream come true to win here. It's the biggest stage in the world with the best horses, the best jockeys and the best trainers.

"Sometimes I have to pinch myself to believe it."


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