ROYAL Ascot was a most enjoyable occasion, and it was marked by a number of riding and training landmarks being reached. A first Royal Ascot winner for Harry Eustace, a graduate of the Irish National Stud Thoroughbred Breeding Management Course, was a highlight for me, and hopefully it was the first of many.
At the other end of the scale, well done to the statistician who came up with the fact that Broome’s win in the Group 2 Hardwicke Stakes marked the 900th win in a group or graded race, under both codes, for Ballydoyle’s maestro, Aidan O’Brien.
It is a remarkable number, and it is a feature of racing at Royal Ascot that they are able to come up with these milestones quite readily.
Even Aidan seemed unaware that he was approaching such a number, and when you narrow his statistics down to Group and Grade 1 races, there is more.
Broome gave Aidan his 50th French Group 1 last year, St Mark’s Basilica registered his 110th here in the Irish Champion Stakes, while Tenebrism’s Cheveley Park win was number 160 in Britain.
When Kyprios gave Ballydoyle its second Group 1 win of 2022, he was the 175th individual winner at that grade saddled by Aidan.
The last 10 wins at Group or Grade 1 level for Ballydoyle have seen Ryan Moore in the plate, and should he and Aidan combine successfully this weekend with Tuesday in the Irish Derby, and Concert Hall in the Pretty Polly Stakes, the rider would be recording his 100th top-level win for Aidan. For comparison, Michael Kinane rode 62 Group 1 winners for Aidan, and Johnny Murtagh did so 48 times.
Aidan O’Brien is chasing his 14th win in the Irish Derby, and his fifth in the Pretty Polly Stakes. You might think that only anoraks are interested in such facts as these, but we are badly served in this area compared to English and international soccer.
As I watch premiership games, there is almost no fact that I cannot find readily, from goals scored, assists made, saves completed by the goalkeepers, the numbers of shots on target, passes made and ground covered.
If you want to know how many group winners a trainer has had, or a jockey has ridden, then you have to get to work and trawl through some records, unless the trainer has such information to hand, and is willing to share it. In an age of computerisation, you would imagine this would be different.