Saxon Warrior seals record for O'Brien

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October 29, 2017 - 09:39 AM

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Saxon Warrior's victory in the Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster has given Aidan O'Brien a unique slice of racing history with the champion trainer setting a record for the most Group One wins in a calendar year.

O'Brien notched his 26th Group One win of the year to go one better than legendary American trainer Bobby Frankel in 2003.

While there is no doubt he is in a privileged position training for the powerful Coolmore team, his skill lies in extracting every drop of potential in virtually all of his inmates.

O'Brien's modesty is a running joke in racing circles - he is always putting the praise on "Davy" or "Johnny" rather than himself - but at Doncaster on Saturday there was no getting away from it.

"It's incredible. I'm so delighted for everyone, I'm thrilled," O'Brien said.

"You just don't expect it, all you can do is your best. I feel so proud for everyone.

"It's a privilege to be working with such special people. We're in a very lucky position and we're a small link in a big chain.

"It is so hard to win Group Ones that I never expect it. We've just got a great team, that's at the heart of it.

"We've been in Ballydoyle 20 years now and each year some of the staff are retiring, but not before they are passing on all that experience.

"The lads (Coolmore triumvirate John Magnier, Derrick Smith and Michael Tabor) do a great job breeding and buying the horses and it is our job not to damage them.

"I'm very pleased it's happened today as even though there's other Group Ones, there's a chance we might not win another."

A big cog in the Ballydoyle wheel is jockey Ryan Moore, who divides his time between Britain and Ireland to team up with O'Brien's bluebloods.

"Aidan will be breaking records for a long time yet," he said.

"I'm very lucky. I've worked with the best, but there's no doubt Aidan is extraordinary. He handles everything very well and from my point of view he makes things very easy.

"He's been at the top for 20 years so I can't say anything new about him, it's just a pleasure to ride for him."