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Irish trainer Aidan O'Brien makes history at Ascot

He drew level with Bobby Frankel’s record of 25 Group One winners in a year.

Trainer Aidan O'Brien (centre) after Hydrangea won The QIPCO British Chahamions Fillies & Mares Stakes Race run.
Trainer Aidan O'Brien (centre) after Hydrangea won The QIPCO British Chahamions Fillies & Mares Stakes Race run.

AIDAN O’BRIEN DREW level with Bobby Frankel’s record of 25 Group One winners in a year when the master Irish trainer sent out Hydrangea to win on British Champions Day at Ascot on Saturday.

The 4-1 shot’s success in the Fillies and Mares Stakes came after O’Brien’s Caravaggio had missed out on the record-matching feat in the Group One Sprint half an hour earlier.

O’Brien typically declined to take personal credit for the achievement, instead praising his team at his Ballydoyle stables in Ireland supported by the mighty Coolmore breeding operation.

It’s a credit for everyone, everyone puts in a lot of hard work, I’m so grateful to be a little link in the chain,” the 48-year-old Irishman told ITV.

Frankel’s record has stood for 14 years, with O’Brien twice getting close, when he trained 23 winners in 2001 and 2008.

O’Brien’s rich harvest of winners in 2017 has included the winners of four of the five English classics with Churchill and Winter annexing the 2,000 and 1,000 Guineas, Wings of Eagles winning the Epsom Derby and Capri, his Irish Derby hero, scraping home in the St Leger.

© AFP 2017

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