Breeders' Cup - At The Races

SEPTEMBER

September
  • Trainer: Aidan O'Brien
  • Likely Jockey: Ryan Moore
  • Owner: Mrs John Magnier & Michael Tabor & Derrick Smith
  • Age & Breeding: 2-year-old filly; Deep Impact – Peeping Fawn
  • Season Form Figures: 11432
  • Career Highlight: Showing stamina is her forte in Royal Ascot's Chesham Stakes.

When Aidan O'Brien sent out Wandering Thoughts to win a seven furlong Tralee handicap, few could have envisioned that he would go on the become the most successful trainer in racing's long history.

O’Brien will arrive at Del Mar having already broken Bobby Frankel's record for Group and Grade 1 winners in a season and that success at the top level is, of course, in no small part due to the support of Coolmore, who provide him with the best raw materials with which to express his innate genius.

This allows O'Brien to often be mob-handed in Pattern races and he always seems to have an able deputy ready to seize the opportunity should a stablemate underperform, and this is particularly apparent with his juveniles. However, with so many regally-bred youngsters maturing at different rates, the two-year-old pecking-order at Ballydoyle appears to be in constant flux, with reputations rising and falling like stocks based on the level of performance.

At one stage, it appeared as though September had cemented herself as O'Brien's best juvenile filly. An impressive winner five-length winner on her debut when the stable's two-year-olds had been improving considerably for the run, September was then sent to Royal Ascot looking to defend her tall reputation and unbeaten record.

She duly did and again impressed, coming through with a strong late run to mow down the front-running Nyaleti, ultimately well on top, going away at the finish in a manner befitting a horse with a middle-distance pedigree.

September was then given a two-month break and returned in the Debutante Stakes. Sent off favourite, but deserted by Ryan Moore, September could only manage fourth, looking rusty and unsuited by the soft ground as stablemates Magical and Happily filled the first two places. The trio would meet again three weeks later in the Group 1 Moyglare, but September could only come out third best as this time Happily beat Magical. With Clemmie winning the Cheveley Park in the meantime, September now looked only fourth best of O'Brien's juvenile fillies.

Yet, on her last run, September suggested that she may once more be able to shuffle the pack. Back on what now looks her preferred decent ground, she looked desperately unlucky not to win the Fillies Mile comfortably, caught in a pocket at a crucial stage as the winner, Laurens, stayed out of trouble on the favoured rail. Flying home, September went down by a nose but enhanced her reputation in the process, very much suggesting she is the top-class filly she is bred to be.

Likely to be well suited by the prevailing conditions at Del Mar, September will likely bring the best form to the race. It’s a difficult race with lots of interesting contenders from both the local and foreign contingent, but she has to be considered a leading contender.