Breeders Cup winner to live forever at St. Nicholas Abbey

22 November 2011 . By St. Nicholas Abbey
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11/17/2011 - The Barbados Advocate

By Michael Phillips

AFTER taking the Breeders Cup Turf in fine style earlier this month, the owners of the winning horse St. Nicholas Abbey have decided to give something back to its namesake. The horse which was four years ago named after the iconic Barbadian Jacobean great-house, won the event over a distance of 1.5 miles at the famous Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky.

The owners of the horse; Derrick Smith, Michael Tabor and Sue Magnier, who all have ties to the island through the Sandy Lane Hotel, are reportedly very pleased with the win and Derrick Smith, who returned to the island for the donation, noted that they were all pleased to be giving something back.

During yesterday’s donation of the head-collar and blanket worn during the race, Smith, citing their business and social affiliations to the island as the main reason, explained that over the years they have been constantly kept the island in mind when naming their horses. “It’s Magnier’s job to name our race-horses and every year she tries to name at least one of them after something in Barbados. We’ve had Harrison’s Cave, we also had Sir Garfield Sobers which didn’t run so well and now we have St. Nicholas Abbey. So that’s the association. As islanders we spend a lot of time here and we live here and we just like to give what we can back,” he said.

Also speaking at yesterday’s media conference at the 17th century house, which is now owned by local architect Larry Warren, the 18-year old rider, Joseph O’Brien, explained that it was a good feeling to become the youngest ever jockey to win a Breeders Cup. “It was a dream come true! To ride at the Breeders Cup was amazing and to be able to ride the winner was even better.” O’Brien said. The four year-old colt, which was trained by O’Brien’s father Aidan O’Brien and is based in Ballydoyle Ireland, ran an amazing race in the Breeders Cup to secure a 2 1/4 length victory over a three year-old colt named Sea Moon.

St. Nicholas Abbey, as part of the celebrations, will be hosting an open house at the Cherry Tree Hill estate on November 27th from 10:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

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