St Nicholas Abbey bows out with life in jeopardy

Racing was given a real jolt yesterday when Ballydoyle announced the bad news that St Nicholas Abbey, one of the best horses in the world, had suffered an injury so serious that it has not only resulted in his immediate retirement from the track, it has also put his life in jeopardy.

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.

Toronado blows open betting for 2,000 Guineas

This really has been a blasted Heath over the past couple of days, but today the gale was rendered incarnate by a colt named Toronado. His runaway success in the last of its Classic trials crowned a pleasing revival in the significance of this meeting, Hot Snap and Garswood having won their own rehearsals impressively the previous day. But while both arguably owed something to the shelter they found from fierce gusts across the track, Toronado went gliding clear of what had become a tailwind – and blew apart the betting on the Qipco 2,000 Guineas. Though Dawn Approach remains favourite, Toronado is no better than 4-1 to beat him back here in a fortnight.

Mars in sight as O'Brien enters new Classic orbit

Seven days after investing so much nervous energy in the Grand National, the sport today contemplates as tepid a Saturday as can be found in its calendar. But respite is almost immediate, with an engrossing week of Classic trials starting in Ireland tomorrow.

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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.