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Aidan O'Brien's St Nicholas Abbey made history by winning the Coronation Cup for the third time

Updated: Saturday, 01 Jun 2013 15:55 | Comments

Joseph O'Brien pushes St Nicholas Abbey clear in the closing stages
Joseph O'Brien pushes St Nicholas Abbey clear in the closing stages

St NIcholas Abbey created history by becoming the first horse to win the Investec Coronation Cup three times at Epsom.

Aidan O'Brien's six-year-old has won big races all over the world but he appears to like the unique twists and turns of Epsom better than most.

Settled at the rear along with his main rival Dunaden as the two pacemakers set for sail around Tattenham Corner, Joseph O'Brien pressed the button two furlongs from home and the response was immediate.

The 30-100 favourite kicked three lengths clear and while Dunaden stuck gamely to his task in second, he never for one minute looked like catching the three-and-three-quarter-lengths winner.

O'Brien jnr said: "Whatever it is over the winter he's matured, he lobs down to the start on a long rein and you can put him where you like in his races.

"On his blow at home the other morning he was exceptional, better than he has ever been.

"He's a force to be reckoned with this year, I don't see why he can't be the best around over middle distances."

Earlier in the day, Thunder Strike proved to be another of Richard Hannon's jet-propelled two-year-olds as he collected the Woodcote Stakes under Richard Hughes.

Stall one proved favourable for the 3-1 joint-favourite, who is now unbeaten in three starts, and he kept a prominent position throughout to win by three and a half lengths from an incredibly fast-finishing Riverboat Springs.

"I think he was obviously the best horse in the race, but he wasn't that impressive last time at Windsor which meant I didn't have such high hopes," said Hannon's son and assistant, Richard junior.

"He'll go to Ascot now, either for the Norfolk or the Coventry Stakes."

Hughes said: "We've brought a lot of nice two-year-olds here but they normally get beat.

"I said to Richard that he jumps so fast which is a massive help here.

"He told me not to go too fast but to make use of his good draw and it's a very fine line here."

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