Aidan O’Brien is used to history-making days at Royal Ascot, and Broome’s victory in the Hardwicke Stakes killed two historical birds with one stone, writes Tom Masters.
His win sealed O'Brien's 11th QIPCO Royal Ascot Top Trainer award and in the process the Ballydoyle trainer reached the incredible milestone of 900 Group victories too.
After a bumper Friday followed Thursday’s Gold Cup win with Kyprios, O’Brien seemed destined to go on to end the three-year drought for the top award, but the winner was not the one many would have expected after ante-post Derby favourite Alfred Munnings
went off as 11/8 favourite in the Chesham Stakes, but he failed to live up to expectations.
But keeping O’Brien away from the winner's enclosure was always going to be a challenge, and in the Hardwicke Stakes he got his fifth win of the meeting as Broome's triumph seized the top trainer gong and 900th Group win in one go.
He said: “I didn't realise that [he had won 900 Group winners]. We are so privileged to be in the position we are and are so grateful to everyone at Ballydoyle.
“Also, to John and Sue [Magnier], Michael and Doreen, Derrick and Gay [Tabor] and Georg and Emily [von Opel]. We are so grateful to them all.
“In this life and world, we take one day at a time and try to appreciate every day. We are so grateful to do what we do every day.
“It was a brilliant ride. Ryan has done an incredible job on Broome. He is a six-year-old colt now and one very strange thing is that he seems to be coming to the peak of his career after all these years.”
O’Brien has got to where he has in training by always knowing the best step to take next, and it is no different here, as he plots to bring the victorious Broome back to Ascot for a shot at The King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes in July.
He added: “He is by Australia and is very brave. We think we will see the best of him this year.
“When he was getting unsaddled after the Japan Cup, a horse walking by kicked him and fractured a shin. He was off for a long time. He just had the come-back run in the Tattersalls Gold Cup and finished fifth behind all those good horses.
“He has a very high cruising speed and does not surrender. We will be thinking about something like the King George back here.”
And when O’Brien, whose 81 Royal Ascot wins put him just one win behind all-time leader Sir Michael Stoute, is at the top of his game, jockey Ryan Moore is almost certainly going to be at the top of his too.
He won the top jockey award for the ninth time and first since 2018, with his seven victories accrued across the week his second-best return after the record nine in 2015,
He too was complimentary of Broome, saying: “I think Broome has been brilliantly prepared. He was a different machine to what I've known him before.
“He was in a beautiful rhythm and stretched out excellent. He was really good today. The rhythm was beautiful, he just flowed and lengthened.
“He was close to winning a Derby and a few things haven't gone his way. Broome brought me a lot of pleasure, he galloped, and Aidan had him in a place to do that.
“He was just in the right place, and it didn't matter what I did – if the horse isn't right, then we can't do it. They had this horse beautifully prepared.”