O'Brien sweeps to another notable racing landmark at Royal Ascot
Record-breaking Irish trainer Aidan O'Brien brought up another milestone on Saturday as he celebrated his 900th Group or Graded winner with Broome's victory in the Hardwicke Stakes on the last day of Royal Ascot.
O'Brien's great rival these days Charlie Appleby -- who started out training a while after the 52-year-old Irishman did -- is racking up group races at a rate of knots and added another couple on Saturday.
There was to be no winner for Queen Elizabeth II, who missed the meeting she is so closely associated with for the first time since her coronation in 1953 -- the meeting was held behind closed doors due to Covid-19 in 2020.
However, as a reminder of her influence over the meeting 70 school children donned her colours to form a guard of honour for the Royal party as they rolled into the parade ring in their carriages pre-racing.
Ryan Moore rode a brilliant and bold tactical race on Broome leading for the majority of the contest.
O'Brien never one to blow his own trumpet brushed aside taking credit for his latest landmark.
"In this life and world we take one day at a time and try to appreciate every day," said O'Brien.
"We're so grateful to do what we do every day. It's incredible really."
Moore's broad grin after he completed a double when Rohaan won the Wokingham Stakes for a second successive year -- only the fifth horse to do so -- replaced the frown when he and O'Brien drew a blank in the opening race.
- 'Built like a tank' -
Their runner Alfred Munnings entered the Chesham Stakes as 16/1 favourite for next year's Derby but ran like a drain as after coming with a challenge he ran up the white flag almost as quickly.
Instead it was the debutant 40/1 shot Holloway Boy who came with a storming late run to overhaul another outsider 80/1 chance Pearling Path and give jockey Danny Tudhope his fourth and most surprising win of the week.
"It is a bit of a surprise to be honest," said Tudhope.
"Karl (Burke the trainer) said just go out and enjoy yourselves."
Burke admitted he had only run the horse so the owner Nick White could get tickets for Ascot.
"Nick rang me and said he had been let down for a box on Saturday so I said 'We will enter the horse and use the tickets for that!'" said Burke.
"We worked well at home so we thought we'd let him take his chances and give the owners a nice day out... I think we have achieved that!
"He is the first horse and first runner that he (Nick White) has ever had in his colours."
Appleby's double came with Noble Truth in The Jersey Stakes -- the trainer crediting his victory down to having gelded (castrated) him recently to focus his mind -- and then a 1-2 in the Group One Platinum Jubilee Stakes.
James Doyle conjured up a terrific run from Appleby's second choice Naval Crown to edge William Buick on his stablemate Creative Force -- a reversal of the places in last year's Jersey Stakes.
"I would be lying if I said I expected him to win today," said Doyle.
"He's built like a tank isn't he!"
Doyle said Appleby had thought he was going to explode if he did not get a winner on the last day.
"Charlie said I looked a bit angry and I said I was running out of bullets," said a grinning Doyle.
In a truly international contest American runner Campanelle dead-heated with Australian Artorius.
The latter's time in England is far from over as he is likely to run in the July Cup in Newmarket.
"He could not have run any better, he has made us very proud, we would love for Australia for him to have won, but there is no question it was the run of the race" said one of the owners Henry Field.
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