BE PART OF THE TEAM

Access exclusive podcasts, interviews and analysis with a monthly or annual membership

Become A Member
Dublin: 9°C Tuesday 13 April 2021
Advertisement

Irish trainer Aidan O'Brien one shy of Bobby Frankel's record after dominating Dewhurst

Even by his own high standards, 2017 has been a year to remember for the unassuming 47-year-old.

Trainer Aidan O'Brien during day two of the Dubai Future Champions Festival at Newmarket Racecourse.
Trainer Aidan O'Brien during day two of the Dubai Future Champions Festival at Newmarket Racecourse.
Image: Julian Herbert

AIDAN O’BRIEN DOMINATED Saturday’s Dewhurst Stakes, the master Irish trainer saddling the first four home to move one shy of Bobby Frankel’s record of 25 Group One wins in a year.

Even by his own high standards, 2017 has been a year to remember for the unassuming 47-year-old and US Navy Flag became the latest top-notch winner to roll off his Ballydoyle production line in Newmarket’s feature two-year-old contest.

As Expert Eye, the odds-on favourite trained by Michael Stoute, floundered to finish last of the nine runners, US Navy Flag led from the front under Ryan Moore.

The 5-1 winner’s stablemates Mendelssohn (50-1), Seahenge (ridden by O’Brien’s son, Donnacha) and Threeandfourpence took second, third and fourth.

With this 24th Group One success of 2017 O’Brien now needs only one more to draw level with Frankel, a remarkable accomplishment that he may well achieve at British Champions Day at Ascot next Saturday.

O’Brien’s previous best Group One tally was 23 in 2001 and 2008.

The magic 25 mark was set by Frankel, the late Californian trainer, in 2003.

Commentating on his chance of rewriting racing’s record books O’Brien told ITV: “It would be massive everyone, but we don’t think about it as a long-term thing.

We take every horse and each race at a time but it would be a massive achievement for everybody.”

US Navy Flag was completing a rare double, adding the Dewhurst to his previous win in the Middle Park Stakes, a feat last achieved by Diesis 35 years ago.

It is rare and we are lucky to have a good colt like him who has the speed for six furlongs but looks like he has a good chance of getting a mile – it is exciting,” said O’Brien.

Backed by the mighty Coolmore breeding operation, O’Brien has sent out the winners of four of the five English classics this campaign 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

Subscribe to The42 podcasts here:

Páraic Duffy’s comments ‘mealy-mouthed and small’ – Galvin wades in on Gooch’s testimonial debate>

Nadal and Federer set for another showdown while Sharapova reaches first final since doping ban>

About the author:

AFP

Read next:

COMMENTS (2)

This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel