Sport Horse Racing

Saturday 15 December 2018

Kinane lauds 'fantastic achievement'

Former jockey Mick Kinane. Photo: Matt Browne/SPORTSFILE
Former jockey Mick Kinane. Photo: Matt Browne/SPORTSFILE

Thomas Kelly

Former Ballydoyle stable jockey Mick Kinane led the tributes after Aidan O'Brien broke Bobby Frankel's record of winners at the top level in a year.

Kinane, who rode such stars as Galileo, High Chaparral, Rock Of Gibraltar and Hawk Wing in his spell as Ballydoyle's number one retained rider, said: "It's a fantastic achievement. I think we got close to doing it one year - we had about 21 or 22 and I rode 19 of them. He's come close a few times, so it just shows you how hard it is.

"When you look at the horses Aidan has had down the years and he's only done it this year, it puts it into perspective what he has achieved," Kinane added.

"I think the key thing is how his horses hold their form through the year and go on improving, US Navy Flag is the perfect case."

Ryan Moore, who has ridden the majority of the Group One winners for the O'Brien team, including Saxon Warrior, said: "Obviously, a lot of dedication and hard work goes in, but I think it's just a very natural feel that he has.

"Aidan can see where a horse is going and how he can get it there. He understands them and gets them to perform at their best every time, but they still keep improving.

O'Brien's son Joseph said: "To get that amount of Group One winners in a single year is unbelievable.

"He deserves every bit of success. He's very lucky he has the raw materials but he doesn't miss anything that is the big thing."

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