Roly Poly edges O'Brien closer to Group record and possible date in California
Roly Poly danced her way to a third Group 1 success under her inspired partner Ryan Moore to set up a possible trip to the US as Aidan O'Brien closes in on the record for top-grade winners in a year.
It will be the Ballydoyle trainer who will go into the history books if he can send out three more winners at the highest level to beat Bobby Frankel’s record of 25 in a year, but O'Brien was again keen to stress the team effort behind this filly’s personal contribution to that number.
Paddy Power waved the white flag by announcing they were paying out on O'Brien and as he outlined possibles for Champions Day at Ascot in two weeks and the Breeders’ Cup it was difficult to argue against that stance.
Roly Poly, who has emerged from the shadow of stablemate Winter, might not be done just yet. O’Brien feels this “amazing filly” could still have more to offer as she has confounded his nagging doubt that she might have been just a two-year-old.
Roly Poly is well named as, unlike her tall and willowy Classic counterparts, she is a smaller rounder sort with a kick – as one of the winning entourage nearly found out painfully as Moore jumped off and said with a smirk: “Did she get anybody?”
Her rivals certainly could not deal with her finishing kick after Moore miraculously overcame her unhelpful draw on the wide outside in stall one to cross over and soon dictate matters, bunching up the field in behind.
As O'Brien said: "Ryan decides how to ride her and that was an incredible ride today from the widest draw to get that position."
The stewards did not agree, handing Moore a two-day ban for his manoeuvre as they felt Arabian Hope had to check.
Dawn Of Hope dared to edge past down into the Dip but was put in her place on the gruelling uphill finish as Roly Poly stuck out her head to hold off the later challenges of favourite Persuasive and Nathra, who brought back the retiring Jimmy Fortune into the winner's enclosure in third.
It was easy to see why O'Brien feels Roly Poly might have still more to offer as no sooner had she been given the offer to start pulling up she pricked her ears and started looking around for the applause.
He said: "She always wins to have you thinking there might be a bit more there. The lads will decide what they want to do – she might be trained for the 1m1f fillies' race at the Breeders' Cup."
The winner, along with stablemate and last year's winner Alice Springs last year, was restoring the three-year-old domination in the race when becoming the 18th of the Classic generation to win in the 21 years since Attraction won its first running as a Group 1 back in .
The way O'Brien and his fillies are dominating proceedings in recent years perhaps this race will need renaming the Kingdom of Ballydoyle Sun Chariot.
The best big-race reports on racingpost.com