Horse trainer Aidan O'Brien
Aidan O’Brien goes into this weekend’s horse racing action on 22 Group Grade 1 winners for the calendar year, which is three short of the world record set by American trainer Bobby Frankel in 2003.
Last weekend O’Brien won four Group 1 races, two in Britain and two in France.
O’Brien, who was based in Kilkenny in the early years of his training career, will not be short of opportunities to better the 14-year-old record.
He will be doubly represented in the Group 1 Kingdom of Bahrain Sun Chariot Stakes at Newmarket on Saturday. The champion trainer has declared both his dual Group 1 winner Roly Poly and Alluringly for the race he previously won with Halfway To Heaven, ridden by Seamie Heffernan, in 2008 and with Alice Springs, the mount of Ryan Moore, 12 months ago.
It’s the start of a busy few weeks of top level action in Europe, America, Australia and Hong Kong, with enough opportunities for O’Brien to finally break a record he has come so close to over the past few years. Bookmakers make him a long odds-on chance to do so.
Over the next four weeks there are a dozen Group 1s in Europe, two in Canada, a full range of possibilities at the Breeders’ Cup at Del Mar, three Grade 1 events in play during the spring festival at Flemington’s Melbourne Cup meeting and four additional chances in Hong Kong in December.
REMAINING GROUP/GRADE 1 RACES IN OCTOBER - Oct 7 Newmarket Kingdom of Bahrain Sun Chariot Stakes; Oct 13 Newmarket Fillies Mile; Oct 14 Newmarket Dubai Dewhurst; Oct 15 Woodbine Pattison Canadian International; Oct 15 Woodbine EP Taylor Stakes; Oct 21 Caulfield Caulfield Cup; Oct 21 Ascot Qipco Champion Stakes; Oct 21 Ascot Qipco British Champions Fillies and Mares; Oct 21 Ascot Queen Elizabeth II Stakes; Oct 21 Ascot Qipco British Champions Sprint; Oct 22 Saint-Cloud Prix Royal-Oak; Oct 28 Moonee Valley WS Cox Plate; Oct 28 Doncaster Racing Post Trophy; Oct 29 Saint-Cloud Criterium De Saint Cloud; Oct 29 Saint-Cloud Criterium International; Oct 29 Rome Premio Lydia Tesio
SO FAR THIS SEASON – 22 GROUP 1s - 1 Rhododendron (Oct 1, Chantilly, Prix de l’Opera Longines); 2 Happily (Oct 1, Chantilly, Qatar Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere); 3 U S Navy Flag (Sep 30, Newmarket, Juddmonte Middle Park Stakes); 4 Clemmie (Sep 30, Newmarket, Juddmonte Cheveley Park); 5 Capri (Sep 16, Doncaster, William Hill St Leger); 6 Order Of St George (Sep 10, Curragh, Comer Group International Irish St Leger); 7 Happily (Sep 10, Curragh, Moyglare Stud Stakes); 8 Hydrangea (Sep 9, Leopardstown, Coolmore Fastnet Rock Matron Stakes); 9 Sioux Nation (Aug 13, Curragh, Keeneland Phoenix Stakes); 10 Winter (Aug 3, Goodwood, Qatar Nassau Stakes); 11 Roly Poly (July 30, Chantilly, Prix Rothchild); 12
Roly Poly (July 14, Newmarket, Tattersalls Falmouth Stakes); 13 Capri (July 1, Curragh, Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby); 14
Winter (Jun 23, Royal Ascot, Coronation Stakes); 15 Caravaggio (Jun 23, Royal Ascot, Commonwealth Stakes); 16 Highland Reel (Jun 21, Royal Ascot, Prince Of Wales’s Stakes); 17 Wings Of Eagles (Jun 3, Epsom, Investec Derby); 18 Highland Reel (Jun 2, Epsom, Investec Coronation Cup); 19 Winter (May 28, Curragh, Tattersalls Irish 1000 Guineas); 20 Churchill (May 27, Curragh, Tattersalls Irish 2000 Guineas); 21 Winter (May 7, Newmarket, Qipco 1000 Guineas); 22
Churchill (May 6, Newmarket, Qipco 2000 Guineas).