Friday 14 December 2018

Aidan O'Brien secures record win as Saxon Warrior battles to trophy glory

Trainer Aidan O'Brien after sending out Elizabeth Browning and Seamie Heffernan to win the Kilboy Estate Stakes during Day 2 of the Darley Irish Oaks Weekend at the Curragh in Kildare. (Photo By Cody Glenn/Sportsfile via Getty Images)
Trainer Aidan O'Brien after sending out Elizabeth Browning and Seamie Heffernan to win the Kilboy Estate Stakes during Day 2 of the Darley Irish Oaks Weekend at the Curragh in Kildare. (Photo By Cody Glenn/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Nick Robson

Aidan O'Brien secured a record 26th Group One victory of the year as Saxon Warrior claimed the Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster.

The Deep Impact colt made a huge impression on his racecourse debut at the Curragh and having followed up in last month's Beresford Stakes at Naas, he was the 13-8 favourite to provide his trainer with an eighth triumph in this juvenile event.

Ryan Moore's mount travelled powerfully throughout the one-mile contest, but looked booked for minor honours when the John Gosden-trained Roaring Line swept alongside and briefly went to the front.

However, he veered off a true line when push came to shove, giving Saxon Warrior a chance and he fought back admirably to claim a historic victory by a neck.

The winner's stablemate, The Pentagon, was third.

O'Brien surpassed the record for number of top-level wins in a calendar year set by American trainer Bobby Frankel in 2003.

He told ITV Racing: "I'm delighted and delighted for everybody. There's a lot of hard work put in by a lot of people in Ballydoyle and Coolmore.

"It's unbelievable really. There are so many people who put in so much hard work day in, day out. If I start mentioning people, I'd forget somebody. They know who they are.

"It's a privilege to be working with such special people. We're in a very lucky position and we're a small link in a big chain."

Of Saxon Warrior, the trainer added: "He travelled very strong and Ryan gave him a brilliant ride.

"When John's horse went by him you thought he was beaten, but he found plenty and we're delighted."

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