Horse Talk with Simon Jackson:
Top horse-racing tips and the latest news.
The Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster on Saturday has added significance as the last Group 1 race of the season this year as Aidan O’Brien bids to break the record for top-level wins in a season.
The multiple Irish Champion trainer equaled the late Bobby Frankel’s record of 25 Group or Grade One successes in a year when landing the QIPCO British Champions Fillies and Mares Stakes with Hydrangea at Ascot on Saturday.
Hydrangea, sent off at 4-1, beat the French-trained favourite Bateel by two lengths under Ryan Moore in a thrilling race to cap a memorable day for O’Brien who was crowned British Champion Trainer 2017 on Champions Day.
O’Brien appears to have a strong hand in the feature race at Doncaster; where he will be represented by 6-4 favourite Saxon Warrior along with The Pentagon (9-2), Seahenge (10-1) and Coat Of Arms (66-1).
“I am so delighted for everybody. It is a big team effort, we are only a small link in the chain and we are so grateful and delighted,” O’Brien said after Hydrangea equaled Bobby Frankel’s record.
“With these Group 1s, every one of them is so hard to win and you never expect anything. You try all the time, which we do. We are doing our best every single day and that’s all we can do. It’s great to be here and I am so grateful to everybody.
“There are so many variables and so many things can go wrong; when you miss at it you never know whether you are ever going to get back there or not. That’s the way it is and the way things stack up – sometimes all your ducks come in a row and sometimes they don’t, but you just have to accept it and move on from it.
“You couldn’t be sure that she [Hydrangea] would stay. She is a home-bred Galileo filly and Galileos will not stop: they are most incredible animals in the world. Ryan gave her a great ride and I am so delighted for Jarleth, who rides her every day and Jamie, who looks after her, and Damian, who led her up.
“She really pulled out when Ryan wanted her to. It was Ryan’s idea to run her – he thought there was a chance that she could get this trip. We weren’t sure, but obviously she did and it is brilliant.”
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