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Page last updated at 14:45 GMT, Monday, 15 September 2008 15:45 UK

O'Brien seeks more Group One wins

Aidan O'Brien
O'Brien's horses have been in a class of their own in the big races this year

Aidan O'Brien has his sights on further glory after Mastercraftsman's victory in the Ireland National Stakes took him to 20 Group One wins this season.

The peerless trainer is within touching distance of Bobby Frankel's record of 25 Group One wins in one season.

O'Brien is looking to the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes plus the Arc and Breeders' Cup meetings as he looks to add to his remarkable haul.

The 39-year-old Irishman is rated as a 1-5 shot to set a new record.

O'Brien has been in red-hot form in the big races this season, and became the first trainer since 1935 to win all five Irish classics when when Septimus won the Irish St Leger on Saturday.

Septimus has not been given any additional weight to carry by the handicapper, despite his impressive win at the Curragh.

The decision means O'Brien's Coolmore operation can also add the Melbourne Cup to the list of major races they may target.

And the softly-spoken O'Brien has plans in place for several of his other star horses.

"The QEII is the plan for Henrythenavigator and we'll see how he gets on there before looking at the Breeders' Cup meeting," O'Brien told the Racing Post.

606: DEBATE
"We're also considering sending Frozen Fire for the Breeders' Cup Turf."

Mastercratfsman could aim for further Group One success in the Grand Criterium at the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe meeting.

"He has to be very good to do what he has done," said O'Brien.

"It was his first run back after a break to get him ready for the autumn and the ground was very deep.

"We will now have a look at Arc day."

Soldier of Fortune and Duke of Marmalade are possible O'Brien options for the Arc itself, for which flying French filly Zarkava is the ante-post favourite.


see also
O'Brien secures Irish clean sweep
13 Sep 08 |  Horse Racing
Honolulu claims Doncaster triumph
12 Sep 08 |  Horse Racing
O'Brien faces team tactics probe
03 Sep 08 |  Horse Racing
Heaven holds on for Nassau glory
02 Aug 08 |  Horse Racing
O'Brien claims 15th Group One win
27 Jul 08 |  Horse Racing
Marmalade secures King George win
26 Jul 08 |  Horse Racing
O'Brien adds to Irish Oaks tally
13 Jul 08 |  Horse Racing
Frozen Fire takes Irish Derby win
29 Jun 08 |  Horse Racing
Murtagh rides Duke to Ascot glory
18 Jun 08 |  Horse Racing
Henrythenavigator stars at Ascot
17 Jun 08 |  Horse Racing
Horse racing on the BBC
19 May 08 |  Horse Racing
Quiz the racing team
17 Jun 08 |  Horse Racing


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