Friday 21 September 2018

O'Brien stresses team effort as he equals world record at Ascot

Aidan O’Brien after Hydrangea won Saturday’s Qipco Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes which saw him equal Bobby Frankel’s record of 25 top-level wins. Photo: PA
Aidan O’Brien after Hydrangea won Saturday’s Qipco Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes which saw him equal Bobby Frankel’s record of 25 top-level wins. Photo: PA

Thomas Kelly

Not long after securing a share of a world record at Ascot on Saturday, Aidan O'Brien was emphasising the team spirit at Ballydoyle and is already looking ahead to the Breeders' Cup.

The Wexford native has long been in the hunt to equal the late Bobby Frankel's record of 25 top-level winners in a year and victory for Hydrangea in the Qipco Fillies and Mares contest saw him join the American trainer at the top of the roll of honour.

O'Brien - whose Order Of St George also justified 4/5 favouritism in the Group 2 Long Distance Cup - was typically modest about the achievement.

"We're a small link in a big chain and I'm delighted for everyone - it's a magic, special day. The chain is so long and we're so glad to be a little link in it," he said. The Breeders' Cup is already occupying O'Brien's mind, with Highland Reel to head a typically strong squad at Del Mar.

"I'm not sure about Hydrangea, but Rhododendron will go for the fillies' race and Roly Poly will either go for that or the Mile," said O'Brien. "We will see how Churchill is in the next few days and the lads (Coolmore) will make a decision on what they want to do with him. It will be the same with Caravaggio. He could go up in trip, but I don't think he needs to.

"September was second in the Fillies' Mile and could go (to Del Mar), and Happily didn't run at Newmarket so we will see how she is. Clemmie is finished for the year. US Navy Flag is a possible, as are the other horses that ran in the Dewhurst. Declarationofpeace is going for a five-furlong race out there on grass. War Decree could go for the Classic or the Mile."

Irish Independent

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