Champions Day Battles: John Gosden Vs Aidan O’Brien
Master trainers John Gosden and Aidan O’Brien have enjoyed many battles against each other over the years.
The two maestros have won almost every major prize available, with the finishes to the best races in Britain perennially involving horses trained by the duo.
QIPCO British Champions Day is no exception; the pair lead the way when it comes to amassing winners at Ascot’s richest raceday and look set again to fight for their share of the £4.2 Million prize money on offer on Saturday.
We whet the appetite for this weekend by having a look back at three previous battles between to two at Britain’s Ultimate Raceday.
2018 Queen Elizabeth II
First – Roaring Lion (Gosden)
Second – I Can Fly (Aidan O’Brien)
— ITV Racing (@itvracing) October 20, 2018
Roaring Lion and Oisin Murphy completed an amazing season with four top-level successes; landing the Coral-Eclipse, Juddmonte International, Irish Champion Stakes and the Queen Elizabeth II stakes at Champions Day.
The final piece came with a hard-fought win against a number of high-class opponents, including Aidan O’Brien’s I Can Fly. In autumnal conditions, the Lion roared home in the last quarter mile coming from the middle of the field before passing front runner Century Dream and holding off the challenge of I Can Fly who flew home on the far rail.
The race will be remembered as an epic renewal of the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes as well being Roaring Lion’s final career victory.
2018 Champions Fillies & Mares
First – Magical (Aidan O’Brien)
Second – Coronet (Gosden)
Third – Lah Ti Dar (Gosden)
— Champions Series (@ChampionsSeries) October 20, 2018
Gosden and O’Brien dominated the market ahead of last year’s Fillies & Mares renewal with the former’s Lah Ti Dar the hot favourite.
But the odds were upset when O’Brien’s Magical glided past front running Lah Ti Dar under Ryan Moore and her staying power proved too strong for the fast-finishing grey Coronet.
2017 Long Distance Cup
First – Order Of St George (Aidan O’Brien)
Third – Stradivarius (Gosden)
"Order Of St George pulls it out of the fire!"
Order Of St George's Long Distance Cup win at QIPCO British Champions Day… Goosebumps 😱 pic.twitter.com/O1jLN7t532
— Ascot Racecourse (@Ascot) September 12, 2018
Aidan O’Brien’s stayer was sent off the 4/5 market leader, but with two furlongs to run he looked well held back in fourth, hitting a big price in-running as Torcedor kicked clear.
The then three-year-old Stradivarius stayed within touching distance of Order Of St George on the run to the lines, but the older horse got the better of his younger rival on this occasion.
It would prove to be the last time the John Gosden’s chestnut tasted defeat for two years.