St Nicholas Abbey’s career ended by injury

Johnny Murtagh has been confirmed as the rider of Novellist in Saturday’s King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot, but news of the booking was overshadowed after leading fancy St Nicholas Abbey sustained a career-ending injury.

In the absence of the six-times Group 1 winner, Novellist is now the 4-1 second favourite behind Cirrus Des Aigles with the sponsors Betfair, and trainer Andreas Wohler has moved to snap up Murtagh who is riding at the top of his game. “We’ve booked Johnny Murtagh as there were question marks over the other jockeys we’ve used before,” said Wohler. “The owner (Dr Christophe Berglar) didn’t want to be hanging around until the last minute, which is understandable, so we’ve booked Johnny.”

For St Nicholas Abbey, the hope remains he can still have a career at stud after suffering a serious injury at Aidan O’Brien’s Ballydoyle yard yesterday morning. Coolmore tweeted: “St Nicholas Abbey suffered a serious career-ending injury at Ballydoyle this morning, vets are currently attending to him.

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“We hope to save him for a career at stud, a further update will be posted later.”

Meanwhile, Red Barton scorched to victory at his favourite venue yesterday when landing the feature race at Musselburgh.

Winning for the third time in just four trips to the East Lothian track, he beat Findog by a length and a half in the Watch Racing UK On Sky 432 Handicap.

Keith Dalgleish’s mid-summer hot streak continued when Secret Advice and Salvatore Fury supplied the Carluke trainer with a 1-2 in the Rotech Handicap, then odds-on winner Idyllic Star and Burnwynd Boy did likewise for the stable in the closing handicap.

It was Tom Eaves aboard the winner on Secret Advice as the partnership beat the 10/11 favourite by two-and-a-quarter lengths, while Jason Hart partnered Idyllic Star. Dalgleish said: “We’ve had a few one-twos this season.”

La Bacouetteuse scored for a third time at Musselburgh for Borders trainer Iain Jardine when shouldering top weight to victory in the 32Red Casino Handicap. The trainer said: “The yard was needing a winner and he loves this place.”

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