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Talking Horses: Aidan O’Brien targets Breeders’ Cup Classic with Churchill

The trainer with a record 26 Group One winners in 2017 sets his sights on the biggest prize of the year

“No, never,” Aidan O’Brien says with feeling, to a suggestion that a winner of the Breeders’ Cup Classic is a personal ambition. “No race would ever be on my mind, we’d always make every decision and do the right thing for the horse. It’s not about us. It’s always about the horse.”

It is a sign of the single-minded dedication to what is best for his horses that has carried O’Brien to a record 26 Group One winners this year. But while the question was never going to prompt a Keeganesque rant – “I tell you what, I will love it, love it if Churchill beats them on Saturday” – O’Brien would not be human if he did not wonder, every now and then, what he has to do to win a Classic.

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