Irish racehorse trainer Aidan O’Brien had cause to celebrate last weekend (26-27 July), securing two Group One wins in two days and taking his tally to 15 Group One wins this season — more than most would dream of in a lifetime.
It was a cracking weekend for Aidan as the four-year-old horse Duke of Marmalade won the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot on Saturday (26 July), while Mastercraftsman took the Independent Waterford Wedgewood Phoenix Stakes at The Curragh on Sunday (27 July).
Duke of Marmalade, the 4-6 favourite ridden by Johnny Murtagh, held off Papal Bull by just half a length in a thrilling finish — recording the third fastest King George win in history.
It was also the colt’s fourth successive Group One win, and his first run over a mile-and-a-half.
Racehorse Mastercraftsman, who was also ridden by Johnny Murtagh, raced clear by four and a half lengths from Jamie Spencer and Art Connoisseur at The Curragh and is now favourite for next year’s 2000 Guineas.