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Against all the odds, we're enjoying a great racing summer as O'Briens lead the charge

Eamonn Sweeney


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Trainer Aidan O'Brien. Photo: Cody Glenn/Sportsfile

Trainer Aidan O'Brien. Photo: Cody Glenn/Sportsfile

SPORTSFILE

Trainer Aidan O'Brien. Photo: Cody Glenn/Sportsfile

The paradox of the truly dominant sports performer is that the better they do, the less impressive it can seem. "Another All-Ireland for the Dubs," "Another Grand Slam for Serena," "Another Major for Tiger." Ho-hum.

Aidan O'Brien's status as the highest achiever in the history of Irish sport has led to him being underestimated in the same way. Yet there was something genuinely extraordinary about the Classic double he executed at Epsom last weekend.

His eighth Derby victory would have been notable simply because it put him top of the all-time list. But the nature of this victory was unforgettable. As putative pacemaker Serpentine galloped merrily clear of the pack you waited for him to be reeled in.