Hats off for Aidan
Most trainers think they are just as capable of training as the most successful ones, given the same ammunition but sometimes you have to take your hat off to some extraordinary feats of training. Aidan O'Brien has rewritten the definition of domination this week with not just a 1-2-3 in last Sunday's Arc de Triomphe but also a pair of 1-2s in the Fillies' Mile and Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket this weekend.
I think any of my colleagues would feel they could win an Arc given as many regally-bred Galileos as O'Brien has but to have not just one but three horses ready to give a career best on the big day takes an epic achievement of horsemanship. He has rewritten the history books and now totally dominates European racing. You have to feel that the Coolmore operation has the upper hand on everyone else as they now possess the finest bloodlines and their dominance will be around for many more years to come.
Aidan can breathe easy for a while yet as I haven't quite got a horse good enough to take him on at the highest level but the team and I shall continue to try and get the best results out of the squad we have, whilst having a lot of fun with the owners along the way.
One owner who got an enormous amount of pleasure this week was my longest serving one - Dick Creese. His homebred filly Little Orchid almost got her head in front for the first time when losing out narrowly at Brighton on Tuesday. She has a great attitude and will surely be winning a race soon, possibly with a step up in distance. It was another great ride from our apprentice Liam Doran who continues to impress and has finished in the first three in nine of his 12 career rides to date.
I hope Liam can keep up this good strike rate on Monday as he rides Limerick Lord at Chelmsford. Limerick found five furlongs too sharp last week so the step back up to six furlongs will suit him well and I don't see why he shouldn't be in the thick of the action.
Also at Chelmsford that day will be Star Of The Stage. He performs very well on the all-weather and has come out of a short break in good heart. He is in quite a competitive race but his low draw will help him get to the front in the large 16-runner field.
Another heading to the races on Monday is Go On Gal at Yarmouth. She has been desperately unlucky not to win yet after finishing in the money in five of her six runs this year. She too has done well for a recent holiday and I really do hope she can finally get her head in front for her enthusiastic syndicate of owners.
Shelley Birkett will be on board and she enjoyed her most lucrative day in the saddle on Saturday after winning the £100,000 Coral Trophy at York. She has been unlucky not to win on Intisaab all season as the pair have continually faced trouble in running in some of the year's biggest sprint handicaps. Everything went right this time though and they came through to land the money. The horse is entered in the sales and I was hoping to buy him but I bet the owner will be changing his mind after this!
Shelley will be riding for us again on Wednesday as Serendib's Glory goes to Wolverhampton. She has been very disappointing and shown little to date but there is ability there and I hope she can show some of it before heading to the sales herself at the end of the month.
I thought Pitch High's initial rating of 66 was a bit harsh by the handicapper given what he has shown so far but the only way to test it is by running and he goes to Nottingham on Wednesday. He ran well on debut but was a bit below par the next twice. He is a nice horse who likes some cut in the ground but it remains to be seen if he can win in this class.
I had initially aimed new boy Best Example for Chelmsford on October 13th but he'll now go to Kempton on the 18th as I think that will be a better starting point for him. His homework is impressive and it needs to be as he will be running off a rating of 85. He's a stocky horse so I imagine he will improve a lot for the run.
Regular readers will know I'm no stranger to sharing the odd bird photo and I thought this one was worthy of your attention as it's the first time I've ever seen an all-white pheasant. There are plenty of the usual variety around the stud as the neighbouring farm have released them for shooting - something which I cannot stand!
THREE TO FOLLOW LEADERBOARD
Jean Allen 66
Ross Birkett 64
Jonathan Kinge 64
Liam Doran 62
Gary Wardle 62
Annette Hall 61
Maureen Case 56
Anthea Telford 56
Barbara Walton 56
Michael Buckley 56
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