Aidan O'Brien 6-4 to break Bobby Frankel's record this year
Aidan O'Brien was quoted at 6-4 by Paddy Power on Monday to eclipse Bobby Frankel's top-flight winners record for a year, which stands at 25, in the wake of a remarkable 16th victory in the Group 1 Phoenix Stakes on Sunday.
Sioux Nation's Phoenix triumph was a 14th top-flight victory of 2017 for O'Brien, whose best yearly haul has been 23. He managed 22 last year, when at the same stage of the season he had 12 Group 1 wins.
Paddy Power representative Tom Nugent said: "Our price of 6-4 may seem short for a record of such magnitude to be broken but, with the busy autumn period ahead, Aidan could still be only changing gears when passing 25 Group and Grade 1s for the season."
BoyleSports also seemingly expect the Ballydoyle maestro to go very close to setting a new benchmark this year, offering an overs/unders market, with 24 or fewer Group 1 winners at 10-11, and 25 or more the same price.
The Ballydoyle camp haven't had a clean bill of health to aid their challenge, with star filly Minding and Derby hero Wings Of Eagles retired through setbacks, the return to action of both Seventh Heaven and Alice Springs delayed, as well as a fatal injury for exciting filly Somehow.
However, O'Brien has been able to rely on Winter, chipping in with four Group 1 victories, while Highland Reel, Churchill and Roly Poly have each secured a brace at the highest level this year.
O'Brien's previous best tally of 23 came in 2001 and 2008, while the fact he recorded ten of his top-level victories in 2016 from this point of the campaign suggests he will threaten Frankel's mark, set by the late great Californian trainer in 2003.
Deauville and York provide the remaining opportunities this month for O'Brien to increase his haul, with Churchill pencilled in to contest next Wednesday's Juddmonte International Stakes, for which he is vying for favouritism with Barney Roy at a best-priced 7-2.
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