AIDAN O'Brien bagged himself an outstanding 226th Group One victory on Saturday night when Adelaide gave the trainer his third Secretariat Stakes at Arlington - and the Ballydoyle maestro was unlucky not to have a 227th top-level triumph as Magician was narrowly denied in the feature Arlington Million.
It is set to be a massive week for the Ballydoyle and Coolmore teams as the dual Derby winner and much-celebrated three-year-old colt Australia is set to be pitched in against older horses for the very first time on Wednesday in the Juddmonte International at York but the string could hardly be in better form going there following Saturday's American raid.
Adelaide, a winner of three of his six racecourse appearances and placed second in the other three, was having his second successive start in America having been last seen contesting the Belmont Derby in July.
The son of Galileo looks set to be on his travels again now with the Spring Carnival in Melbourne his target.
In the colours of Derrick Smith for the Coolmore powers, Adelaide was sent off the 11/10 favourite for the 1m2f Grade One on the turf and under Ryan Moore he always looked comfortable before taking up the running in the straight and forging clear to secure a rather comfortable length-and-a-half triumph.
It was the first leg of a double for Ryan Moore, (pictured, right) who later won on the Marco Botti-trained Euro Charline in the Beverly D Stakes, and he said afterwards: "He was the best horse in the race going into it, I just thought we would keep it simple.
"The horse on the lead was getting a bit of a soft hand, so didn't want to move up too early. Adelaide just had more class than the field and got the job done. He's run in France, Ireland, England, America, and America again."
Coolmore's Australian representative, James Bester, revealed over the weekend that owners from Australia had purchased a share in Adelaide and if the three-year-old does line up in the Cox Plate it would be his last run for O'Brien before joining Australia's champion trainer Chris Waller.
"Now Adelaide has new Australian connections, the prospect of running in the Cox Plate has become more attractive," said Bester.
"He's entered, but he still needs to be invited."
Magician came close to providing O'Brien with a memorable big-race double and a repeat of his feat at the track in 2011, when he won both the Secretariat and the Arlington Million. However, that was foiled by outsider Hardest Core who was backable at almost any price in the lead-up to the race.
Magician had last year claimed the Breeders' Cup Turf at Santa Anita, and on his first return to America since that win he had to settle for minor honours under jockey Joseph O'Brien.
It looked like the race favourite was going to provide Ballydoyle with a double on the night when the pair took up the running a furlong-and-a-half down but it wasn't to be as they were out-gunned by a length at the line.
Declarations for Wednesday's Juddmonte International at York is being made this morning and a decision on who will ride the exciting colt is also expected today, with Joseph O'Brien trying to get down to do the 8st12lbs weight for the first time in more than a year.
O'Brien, who regularly rides at 9st, stated on Thursday that he would not give up hope of renewing his association with Australia and with Ryan Moore seemingly set to stay faithful to Michael Stoute, the plum spare ride on Australia would be up for grabs should O'Brien not be able to make the weight.
Meanwhile, in France yesterday, the other star of the three-year-old generation, Kingman, once again proved his superiority when using his devastating turn of foot in the Prix Jacques le Marois at Deauville.
It was a fourth Group One in a row for John Gosden's colt, but connections had only made the decision to run after walking the Normandy course before racing.
With only five starters, it was always likely to be tactical but James Doyle waited patiently before unleashing Kingman inside the final furlong and he burst away from Anodin, with last season's runner-up Olympic Glory only third.
Gosden revealed the final decision to allow Kingman to take his chance was made by owner Prince Khalid Abdullah.
The Clarehaven handler said: "It was a 50-50 (to run) in my mind, and a very sporting gesture by the Prince.
"The plan is now the QEII (Ascot, October 18), which has always been his end-of-year objective."
Doyle said: "It's a shame they went so slowly early on because then it turned into a dash to the line.
"I wasn't sure that he would be able to go and do his usual thing on the ground, but he was just the same Kingman when I asked him to pick up as he's always been."