07/26/2013 9:21AM

St. Nicholas Abbey suffers setback, undergoes emergency surgery


In a major setback to efforts to save him, Coolmore Stud’s champion St Nicholas Abbey underwent emergency surgery Friday morning to treat what the farm called “a bad colic.”

The surgery is the second for St Nicholas Abbey this week. On Tuesday, the 6-year-old Montjeu colt sustained a fractured pastern while training at Ballydoyle in Ireland. That life-threatening injury required a lengthy surgery the following day at the Fethard Equine Hospital. Coolmore said that Dr. Dean Richardson, the New Bolton Center surgeon who led the battle to save 2006 Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro, consulted on the surgery to fuse the horse’s pastern.

On Friday, Coolmore tweeted: “Unfortunately, St Nicholas Abbey had a major setback in his recovery during the night, suffering from a bad colic. He underwent emergency colic surgery at Fethard Equine Hospital this morning, and the prognosis is very guarded at the moment.”

St Nicholas Abbey won six Grade 1 or Group 1 races, among them the 2011 Breeders’ Cup Turf. He also was the first horse to capture three runnings of England’s Group 1 Coronation Cup. Before his injury on Tuesday, he had been favored to win the July 27 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes.