IT has almost been an article of faith through history that the world of Flat racing is a place where only the most ruthless can possibly survive.
And yet Aidan O'Brien, for so long the pre-eminent trainer in this part of the world, would seem to knock this on the head. Rarely has a man who has achieved so much appeared so thankful for it than the modest master of Ballydoyle.
It is too easy to downplay what he has accomplished purely because of the money he has behind him because that money brings with it huge levels of expectation and responsibility.
And yet, through it all, he seems to wear this burden lightly, continuing to have his fleet of horses primed and ready for the big days.