O’Brien a single top-level win away from making history

US Navy Flag, under Ryan Moore, on his way to victory

Aidan O'Brien moved to within one winner of matching Bobby Frankel's top-flight world record haul as US Navy Flag landed the Darley Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket.

And just for good measure, the peerless Ballydoyle handler saddled the next three horses home in the Group One over seven furlongs.

O'Brien is now on 24 winners for the calendar year after US Navy Flag added to his gains in the Middle Park Stakes with an impressive two-and-a-half-length victory under Ryan Moore.

Stablemates Mendelssohn, Seahenge and Threeandfourpence finished second, third and fourth respectively.

The previously unbeaten Expert Eye was always in US Navy Flag's slipstream, but was notably keen in the hands of Andrea Atzeni.

Whereas Moore's eager companion powered clear, the 4-7 favourite dropped back through the field and finished last of nine runners.

"We take every horse and each race at a time but it would be a massive achievement for everybody."

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"We take every horse and each race at a time but it would be a massive achievement for everybody."

O'Brien said of the winner: "He is a very good Middle Park winner and I think he was overlooked a bit.

"It is unusual and rare (for a horse to win the Middle Park and the Dewhurst).

"I suppose we're lucky to have a colt who has pace enough for six (furlongs) and it looks as though he's a good chance of getting a mile."

Regarding future plans, the trainer added: "He would have America (Breeders' Cup), but I don't know.

"We will see how he is. He is certainly very happy with what he is doing. It's exciting."

When asked about the record, O'Brien said: "It would be massive everyone, but we don't think about it as a long-term thing.

"We take every horse and each race at a time but it would be a massive achievement for everybody.

"There are hundreds of people in the team and it's a big team effort.

"We'd be very honoured to do it, but we'll take one day at a time."

AIDAN O'BRIEN'S GROUP ONE WINNERS IN 2017
Churchill (Qipco 2000 Guineas) Newmarket, May 6
Winter (Qipco 1000 Guineas) Newmarket, May 7
Churchill (Tattersalls Irish 2,000 Guineas) Curragh, May 27
Winter (Tattersalls Irish 1,000 Guineas) Curragh, May 28
Highland Reel (Investec Coronation Cup) Epsom, June 2
Wings Of Eagles (Investec Derby) Epsom, June 3
Highland Reel (Prince of Wales's Stakes) Ascot, June 21
Caravaggio (Commonwealth Cup) Ascot, June 23
Winter (Coronation Stakes) Ascot, June 23
Capri (Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby) Curragh, July 1
Roly Poly (Tattersalls Falmouth Stakes) Newmarket, July 14
Roly Poly (Prix Rothschild) Deauville, July 30
Winter (Qatar Nassau Stakes) Goodwood, August 3
Sioux Nation (Keeneland Phoenix Stakes) Curragh, August 13
Hydrangea (Coolmore Matron Stakes) Leopardstown, September 9
Happily (Moyglare Stud Stakes) Curragh, September 10
Order Of St George (Comer Group Irish St Leger) Curragh, September 10
Capri (William Hill St Leger) Doncaster, September 16
Clemmie (Juddmonte Cheveley Park) Newmarket, September 30
US Navy Flag (Juddmonte Middle Park) Newmarket, September 30
Happily (Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere) Chantilly, October 1
Rhododendron (Prix de l'Opera) Chantilly, October 1
Roly Poly (Sun Chariot Stakes) Newmarket, October 7
US Navy Flag (Darley Dewhurst Stakes) Newmarket, October 14

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