Sport

St Nicholas Abbey, the Classic flop who became the winner of six Group One races and the highest-earning runner in the history of Ballydoyle, lost his battle with chronic health problems when he had to be put down after an attack of colic.

Marco Botti: Moved stables in Newmarket and hopes to end up at the Breeders’ Cup this year

Botti backs Planteur to make flying Flat start by conquering the World

Having anticipated last week for so long, some Cheltenham diehards will be appalled to discover that a new Flat season opens at Doncaster on Friday. Others, however, will recognise that so rich a banquet can only really be followed by a total change of taste – even if Town Moor is set to provide conditions better suited to steeplechasing.

Out of the blue: Ryan Moore restored the traditional order for Europe at the Breeders’ Cup meeting with victory on George Vancouver in the Juvenile Turf

By George, Vancouver turns the tide

Moore brings Breeders' Cup solace to O'Brien but Excelebration finds the pace too hot in California

William Buick may ride a double in the two main fillies' races

Gosden should have The Fugue at concert pitch for long-term target

With their first domestic titles wrapped up, the opening skirmishes of the 29th Breeders' Cup tonight provide the opportunity for John Gosden and Richard Hughes to amplify their new status as respectively champion trainer and jockey-elect.

New York-based Todd Pletcher’s runners have been grounded

Hurricane blows Cup hopes off course but Cyclone breezes back

Though some European raiders will show the beginnings of a winter coat, the return of the Breeders' Cup to Santa Anita this time entails a still more abrupt change of climate for those arriving from the East Coast of the United States. For while one planeload of New York horses did manage to hasten west today, even as Hurricane Sandy closed in, another seems likely to be grounded today. With bridges in their home city likely to be closed by the Port Authority, several leading fancies in the care of the record-breaking trainer Todd Pletcher are unlikely to make their scheduled departure.

Leather looks tough enough to trade blows with Kingsbarns

Bolger's Derby hope has beating of inexperienced favourite in final Group One of British season

Tom Dascombe is planning an enterprising Breeders' Cup raid

Team Europe sticks to safe horizons for Breeders' Cup

Nothing, it seems, is quite so universal as insularity. Despite the best efforts of its organisers, the publication yesterday of entries for the 29th Breeders' Cup reiterated the challenge they face in matching its formal billing as the World Thoroughbred Championships.

Frankel routs his rivals on his most recent start at York in August

Only the mud can mar farewell parade for Frankel, champion of champions

Cecil's unbeaten colt can shine one last time on a day for celebration – and Excelebration

Dawn Approach wins the Dewhurst Stakes under Kevin Manning

Godolphin principles prove subject to change

Everyone else might take a different view, as fatal fissures seem to emerge in his long partnership with Frankie Dettori, but Sheikh Mohammed himself knows that Godolphin's riding arrangements are fairly incidental. Paying such wages, he will never lack a world-class jockey. More fundamental changes are afoot, however, in the supervision of his horses away from the racecourse. And if the Sheikh is relieved that an implied admission of failure is receiving far less attention, then that indulgence is perhaps the least he deserves for quietly grasping some pretty painful nettles.

Frankie Dettori celebrates his Ebor victory by doing the ‘Mobot’

Dettori charge sets the tone for Godolphin's golden weekend

Willing Foe's Ebor win at York leads the way for more success at Saratoga and Deauville

Carlton House drops down in class today but may chalk up a win

Brave Nathaniel ready to double up

One way or another, the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes has gradually lost its traditional role as a showdown between generations. With the Prix du Jockey Club nowadays reduced to a brawl with milers over an intermediate distance, French three-year-olds had to wait until last weekend for their Group One opportunity over a mile and a half; and the Derby winner, Camelot, has been the latest to be put away for the autumn, after following up in the Irish version. That leaves just one three-year-old prepared to take on his seniors at Ascot today – and he has come all the way from Tokyo to do so.

Yoshito Yahagi knows Deep Brillante has a tough task. 'To win we must make history'

Youth is no barrier for Japanese invader aiming to conquer Ascot

It is not just Yoshito Yahagi who has experienced transformation since he was last in Newmarket. At 51, he returns as trainer of the Japanese Derby winner, Deep Brillante, an audacious challenger for the Betfair King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot on Saturday. The colt is lodging with Clive Brittain, just over the road from Geoff Wragg's old yard – where Yahagi once worked as a humble stable lad. A broader metamorphosis, however, reflects more favourably on his homeland than on his hosts.

Joseph O'Brien riding So You Think are led in after winning The 150th Anniversary of The Prince Of Wales's Stakes

So You Think wins Prince of Wales's Stakes at Royal Ascot

Aidan O'Brien's So You Think recorded his 10th Group One victory in the 150th Anniversary of Prince of Wales's Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Carlton House can gain Group One glory in the Queen's colours

Carlton House ready to show touch of majesty

He could not quite pull off the Derby itself last year, but his fulfilment – and the gratification of royalist punters – may prove to have been merely deferred. For Carlton House (3.45) has excellent prospects today of winning the monarch her first Group One race since 1977, another jubilee year, in the 150th running of the Prince of Wales's Stakes.

Parish Hall opens his three-year-old career today at the Curragh, his first start since his victory in the Dewhurst Stakes last October

Daddy too long even if Hall is in the next parish

O'Brien contender looks value as Bolger preps his Derby hope on seasonal debut in Irish Guineas

Joseph O’Brien on St Nicholas Abbey (right) fails to peg back his stablemate
Windsor Palace (red blinkers) at the Curragh yesterday

Pacemaker upsets St Nicholas Abbey and Aidan O'Brien

Whether you are a mouse, a man or an O'Brien, your best-laid schemes can go agley. Young Joseph of the latter ilk may have given Camelot an inch-perfect ride to take the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket on Saturday, but two days later at the Curragh he for once seemed to get the fractions wrong on one of the Ballydoyle older stars, St Nicholas Abbey.

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