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.

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.

McNamara out of coma and ready for move nearer home

With the domestic sport’s downtime between the Cheltenham and Aintree festivals exacerbated by cancellations, postponements and congealingly cold weather, there was at least one piece of warming news today. It concerned the improved condition of J T McNamara, the Irish amateur who fractured two neck vertebrae in a fall at Cheltenham 12 days ago.

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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.

Quentin Collonges's fine dry run for Cheltenham Festival

If there was a tip for the Cheltenham Festival yesterday, it was perhaps that punters may have to rethink anything that has gone into the formbook so far. After one of the wettest winters on record racecourses have finally started to dry out, and the afternoon's richest contest promptly went to a horse who had not yet troubled a judge this season on soft, soggy ground.