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.

Tactical speed can win battle for War

Even the bitter certainty that they will occasionally put a rider into intensive care is a reflection on the essential unpredictability of thoroughbreds.

Ruler Of The World, in the winner’s enclosure at Epsom, seeks a Derby follow-up in the Curragh today

Ruler Of The World has power to crush Libertarian again

No less than any other walk of life, it is pretty rare in racing for anyone to profess indignation when credited with a stroke of genius. Such was the case at Epsom last month, however, when Aidan O’Brien and his patrons at Coolmore maintained a scrupulous show of bemusement about a theory that their horses had collectively undermined the prospects of the hot favourite, Dawn Approach, by setting an unexpectedly slow pace in the Investec Derby.

Wise Dan aims to scale fresh heights in weighting game

Unbeaten as he is, for now the Derby winner is arguably not even the most accomplished thoroughbred who happens to have an engagement on Saturday. For a few hours after Ruler Of The World attempts to extend his Epsom supremacy on to home soil, in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby, an outstanding American champion sets a fresh challenge to such parochial perspectives as may have been re-inforced by the failure of Animal Kingdom at Royal Ascot last week.

Sky Lantern (L) powers past the field to win the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot

Lantern shines for Hughes to dispel doubts
and frustration

1,000 Guineas heroine gains spectacular win in Coronation Stakes under trademark ride

Frankie Dettori seeks a first Group One win since his return

Maureen can deliver Frankie Dettori redemption at Royal Ascot

Hearts will rule many heads tomorrow, albeit resistance should perhaps be fairly minimal anyway after events here. For it is not just sentiment that will unite punters behind two Warren Place runners who seek to emulate the success of Riposte. The form book, after all, gives Joyeuse and Disclaimer strong claims – quite apart from the air of destiny preceding both. But that does not alter the fact that those hard enough of heart might find better value elsewhere.

Dawn Approach (blue) digs deep to repel Toronado in the St James’s Palace Stakes at Ascot yesterday

Royal Ascot: Dawn burns bright again after sun sets on Kingdom

2,000 Guineas winner redeems reputation after Derby in titanic battle with Toronado

Animal Kingdom can thrive outside natural habitat

Three of the meeting's seven Group One races will be over inside 80 minutes today – and in an aggregate time quicker than will be set by its final winner on Saturday afternoon, trundling two and three-quarter miles in the Queen Alexandra Stakes. That race is too cherished an heirloom for anyone to suggest that Royal Ascot ends with a whimper, but it unmistakably opens with a bang.

Sir Henry Cecil's Royal Ascot entries will run as planned

Royal Ascot 2013: Spirit of Sir Henry Cecil alive in global carnival

Royal meeting opens with international fanfare after scandals and bereavement

Treve storms to victory in the Prix de Diane in track record time

Head-Maarek aims Treve at Arc after runaway triumph in Diane

Unbeaten filly will be rested for Vermeille prep run after breaking Chantilly track record

Sir Henry Cecil with Frankel at Newmarket racecourse on September 29, 2012

The greatest horses trained by Sir Henry Cecil

It was announced today that the legendary trainer had passed away

Sir Henry Cecil

Legendary Newmarket trainer Sir Henry Cecil dies

Cecil was crowned champion trainer 10 times

Kentucky Derby winner Orb is one of the favourites for today’s Belmont Stakes in New York

Sun Central has the pedigree to shine over longer trip

Between Epsom last weekend, and Royal Ascot on Tuesday week, an inevitable suspension of quality today produces one of the quieter Saturdays in the calendar.

Sir Michael Stoute wants to ease the highly rated Telescope back

Sir Michael Stoute pulls Telescope out of Royal Ascot return

Those who were looking to Telescope to emerge as one of the stars of the season must wait a while longer to refocus their hopes. After some twinkling homework on the Newmarket gallops, the Sir Michael Stoute-trained colt galloped as swiftly up the betting for the Derby, only to defect from the Epsom showpiece with nine days to go because of a sore shin. Now he will miss his chance to shine at Royal Ascot, too.

Gary Stevens won the Preakness after coming out of retirement

Gary Stevens backs Oxbow to add Belmont to fairytale return

For each new scandal absorbed by the British racing community, their American cousins seem to contrive fresh consolation. Admittedly the craving for a first Triple Crown since 1978 has already been prolonged by defeat for the Kentucky Derby winner, Orb, in its second leg. But Oxbow's Preakness success none the less consolidated the romantic gains made by Orb, in himself satisfying the patient Derby quest of his admired, old school connections – notably his trainer, Shug McGaughey. Oxbow in turn restored two Hall of Fame titans, Wayne Lukas and Gary Stevens, from the shadows at 77 and 50 respectively.

The Sport Matrix: Monday 3 May 2013

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