x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 18 October 2017

Aidan O’Brien closes in on Bobby Frankel record as Roly Poly takes Group 1 Sun Chariot Stakes at Newmarket

Roly Poly’s victory took O’Brien’s tally to 23 Group 1 wins this year, two shy of American's record

Aidan O’Brien moved two closer to equalling the record for Group 1 victories in a season held by American trainer Bobby Frankel after Roly Poly won the Sun Chariot Stakes at Newmarket on Saturday.

Under the indomitable Ryan Moore, the filly outlasted the John Gosden-trained Persuasive ridden by Frankie Dettori to hit the finish line first after 1,600 metres.

It was Roly Poly’s third Group 1 prize after taking the Falmouth Stakes at Newmarket on July 14 and the Prix Rothschild at Deauville 16 days later.

Persuasive finished a length and-a-quarter behind in second followed by Nathra in the silks of Dubai businessman Abdullah Saeed Al Naboodah, and Usherette, the Godolphin hopeful trained by Andre Fabre in France.

Roly Poly’s victory took O’Brien’s tally to 23 but the Irishman played down his record bid, saying it would be "incredible for everybody" to beat the record "but the horse comes first, always.

“After every race, the lads [Coolmore] sit down and have a chat among themselves and see what race they want to pick, they have a big discussion with the people around them, make a target and we go with that.

“It's race to race, horse to horse, the horse always comes first and we're doing our best in every race, it's all we can do.”

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It was a sixth win in 16 starts for Roly Poly.

“I can’t tell you how delighted I am with her,” O'Brien said. “It’s a big team effort from the lads and Ryan gave her a class ride.

“She’s a great filly with a great heart, and she’s tough. She’s incredibly bred and is out of a Galileo mare which makes her tough.”

When asked if Roly Poly would head to the Breeders’ Cup, O’Brien added: “I think so. The lads will decide what they want to do, but her and Rhododendron could be trained for the Filly And Mare race if that's what the lads want to do.”

Gosden was full of praise for his charges, home in second and third, but conceded they had been beaten by the better filly.

“With a bit more juice in the ground, both of our fillies would have troubled the winner,” he said.

“They have run second and third and I could not be more thrilled with them. They have run true and honest right to the end of the season.

"I think that will probably be it for both of them and the breeding sheds beckon.”