Ace O'Brien re-writes the Classic record books
It was a great week for the Wexford connections in Britain, with Aidan O'Brien winning a record eighth 2,000 Guineas and completing the 2,000 and 1,000 Guineas double for the third time at Newmarket, and the jockeys from the county picking up eleven races between them.
O'Brien and his Ballydoyle operation continue to rewrite the Classic record books, and his highly hyped Churchill duly obliged under Ryan Moore in the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket on Saturday, beating the seven wins of John Scott that had stood since 1862!
He had earlier won the £100,000 Group 2 Dunaden Jockey Club stakes when Seventh Heaven blitzed the field, and he came within a neck of a famous treble when Washington DC was just run out of it by Mark Prescott's Marsha in the Group 3 Palace House Stakes.
On Sunday, he won the £500,000 1,000 Guineas for the fourth time with the outsider of his trio, Winter (9/1), under Wayne Lordan, from his hot favourite Rhododendron (5/4) which was checked when starting his run three furlongs out.
He earlier won the £90,000 Group 2 Dahlia fillies' stakes with Somehow (9/4f) under Ryan Moore, and this means he won four of the five top races he contested at Newmarket and was close second in the other.
For good measure, he had a 1,2,3 in the €100,000 Group 3 Derrinstown Stud Irish Derby trial at Leopardstown, again winning with the outsider, Douglas Mcarthur (7/1), under Emmet McNamara.
Aidan's achievements have become the stuff of legend, and he is of course backed by the Coolmore millions (even billions), but it is just too easy to take what he does for granted. With the amount of money involved in long-term breeding fees, he is under enormous pressure to continually produce the goods, and he has met that challenge for over 20 years now, invariably with grace and humility.
He has now won 27 British Classics and 35 here in Ireland, along with successes all over the world. What he keeps on doing at the very highest level of racing deserves recognition and acclaim here in his native county. All Wexford should be rightly proud of this quiet 48-years-old genius from Killegney, Poulpeasty, and you can be sure that will be further success to come.
His former mentor, Jim Bolger, won the €60,000 Group 3 Derrinstown Studd 1,000 Guineas trial at Leopardstown on Sunday with Bean Feasa (10/3f) under Kevin Manning.