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O’BRIEN CROWNED QIPCO ROYAL ASCOT TOP TRAINER
Ballydoyle maestro Aidan O’Brien scooped the QIPCO Royal Ascot Top Trainer Award for the eighth time and third in succession after a final day double provided him with his sixth victory of the 2017 Royal Meeting and 60th Royal Ascot winner overall.
The victories of 11/8 favourite September in the Listed Chesham Stakes and 9/2 shot Idaho in the G2 Hardwicke Stakes added to the successes of speedster Caravaggio [G1 Commonwealth Cup], Sioux Nation [G2 Norfolk Stakes], globetrotting superstar Highland Reel [G1 Prince of Wales’s Stakes] and three-time G1 winner Winter [G1 Coronation Stakes] earlier in the week.
O’Brien said: “I’m delighted for everybody. We’re very lucky to be able to do what we do and have these horses.
“We always hope to do well at Royal Ascot and we always try and have the horses ready for this meeting but we don’t really expect anything really – credit must go to all the team who do such a great job at home, it’s a big team effort.”
Asked what he viewed as his most exciting winner of the week, O’Brien replied: “Every victory here is very important, but I suppose you would have to be impressed with what Caravaggio did in the Commonwealth Cup.
“He had only had one easy run coming into that race at Naas and he was only just about ready to run. It was a tough race but he did it very well against some good horses.”
The six successes are just one off the record total of seven that O’Brien amassed in 2016.
COOLMORE TAKE THE LEADING OWNERS PRIZE
The Irish giant, Coolmore, had to rely on count-back to secure the owner’s prize at Royal Ascot from a resurgent Godolphin, with the Tipperary entity piping its rival by the means of an extra second.
The result was six wins apiece but seven seconds to Coolmore as to Godolphin’s six.
Coolmore’s UK representative, Kevin Buckley, commented: “It is marvellous. It has been a fantastic week and we have thoroughly enjoyed it.
“As we all know, it is an ultra competitive week, so we are always happy to get a couple of winners. We were fortunate this year to have six.
“It was a very closely run race for the owner’s trophy, going down to the second places. Obviously, we had six winners along with Godolphin, but we thankfully had seven seconds, which put us in front.
“We are delighted.”
RYAN MOORE IS TOP JOCKEY
Ryan Moore earned the Top Jockey award for this year’s Royal Meeting, with six wins – ahead of William Buick’s four wins and James Doyle’s two.
Moore also racked up four seconds and four thirds over the five days.
RACHEL GROOM is Eclipse Magazine’s Photography Editor. Known for her ‘street’ photography she is also an in-house documenter of racing activities at a training yard in Epsom and loves a big day out at the races. You can see more of her work at www.rachelgroom.com