Champions’ Day double for Galileo
Aidan O’Brien equalled the late Bobby Frankel’s record of 25 G1 wins in a season when Hydrangea (3f Galileo-Beauty Truth, by Pivotal) completed a double for Galileo at Ascot on Saturday at QIPCO British Champions’ Day.
Partnered by Ryan Moore, Hydrangea ran out a decisive winner of the G1 QIPCO British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes, coming home two lengths clear of the French-trained Bateel.
"You couldn't be sure that she would stay,” admitted O’Brien. “She is a home-bred Galileo filly and Galileos will not stop: they are most incredible animals in the world. Ryan gave her a great ride.
"She really pulled out when Ryan wanted her to. It was Ryan's idea to run her - he thought there was a chance that she could get this trip. We weren't sure, but obviously she did and it is brilliant."
Moore was full of praise for his mount, who also won the G1 Matron Stakes at Leopardstown on Irish Champions Weekend in September.
"Hydrangea is great, she's been running very good races all year - she won the Matron and she ran a very good race in the Opera. She's just super.
"I thought she had a great chance here today even though I was hoping the ground would be a bit better than it is. She has a great attitude."
Meanwhile, another admirable flagbearer for Galileo, O’Brien and Moore kicked off Champions Day on he best possible note.
Order Of St George (5h Galileo-Another Storm, by Gone West) flew home late to win the G2 QIPCO British Champions Long Distance Cup.
It was a ninth black-type success for the admirable son of Galileo and O’Brien commented: "He never stops. In any race he's ever run in, he always finishes them. He's never, ever stopping. You saw him in the G1 Gold Cup and the G1 Irish Leger - sometimes the line comes too quick, but he doesn't stop. He's tough and he's hard, and Ryan gave him a great ride.”
Order Of St George eventually finished half a length clear of Fastnet Rock’s gutsy son Torcedor (5g Fastnet Rock-Magnolia Lane, by Sadler’s Wells) and Moore was full of praise for the winner.
"It's very soft out there but I was hoping that his stamina would kick in and it did - he's a very good horse,” said the rider. "He is an unbelievable horse. He ran a very good race in the Arc 20 days ago and has come here at the end of a long year looking magnificent. He is a beautiful horse and a pleasure to deal with.”