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O’Brien and Gosden train sights on another battle

25 Apr 2016

Top trainers are gunning for more QIPCO British Champions Series glory in 2016.

Aidan O’Brien has saddled 69 winners in Britain in the past five years, with a third of those triumphs being achieved in QIPCO British Champions Series races.

O’Brien has been the top trainer in the Series since its launch and, in addition to his 23 winners. has also had plenty of near-misses with 42 of his other runners finishing second or third.

The master of Ballydoyle led the way in 2012, when he saddled seven winners, and followed up in 2013, when he enjoyed five more.

Last year he recorded was his lowest tally of winners (three), but it was still enough for him to share the training honours with John Gosden, who achieved the same. Between them, the pair had 15 placed runners.

Gosden, based in Newmarket, was the most successful trainer in the 2014 Series, when Kingman, Taghrooda, The Fugue and Sultanina combined to give him six memorable triumphs.

Overall, he has enjoyed 18 winners and 32 places in the Series.

Jack Hobbs, Shalaa, Royal Artillery, Nathra and Flying Officer look big players for Gosden this year but O’Brien has even greater strength in depth, with his battalion including Air Force Blue, Minding, Ballydoyle, Found, Bondi Beach, Order of St George, Highland Reel and US Army Ranger.

Richard Hannon, Sir Michael Stoute and Roger Varian are among those likely to ensure they do not have things all their own way. The last-named has only one Series success to his name but will be hoping Postponed, Intilaaq and Belardo can boost his tally.