05/28/2017 12:14PM

Trainer Aidan O'Brien enjoying a terrific month of May

Edward Whitaker/Racing Post
Aidan O'Brien's Winter dominated the Irish 1000 Guineas on Sunday.

Through the Coolmore operation, Aidan O’Brien every year is given some of the most talented horses in the world to train. O’Brien himself has shown himself again and again to be a remarkable trainer. Given the circumstances, it should come as little surprise O’Brien wins so many top races, but his accomplishments the last two calendar years still seem remarkable.

After coming close to Bobby Frankel’s all-time annual Group or Grade 1 record in 2016, O’Brien has started 2017 by winning the first four Classic races in England and Ireland, with Winter snowing under the Irish 1000 Guineas field in an utterly dominant performance Sunday at The Curragh.

Winter now has won the English 1000 Guineas and the Irish 1000 Guineas and, on Saturday, the O’Brien-trained Churchill won the Irish 2000 Guineas following his triumph in the English 2000 Guineas. It has not been a bad May for Mr. O’Brien.

Winter, the odds-on favorite, rated comfortably under Ryan Moore on Sunday as her stablemate Hydrangea alternated for the lead with Rehana. Winter rolled up into contention about a quarter-mile out and passed the two leaders without appearing to even extert herself. She widened her lead under light urging the rest of the way and crossed the finish 4 3/4 lengths in front of Roly Poly, with Hydrangea edging Intricately for third. That result gave O’Brien a sweep of the top three placings, while his son, Joseph O’Brien, trains the fourth horse home.

Winter began her career at 2 in the yard of trainer David Wachman, but came to O’Brien when Wachman retired following the 2016 flat-racing season.

Winter moved toward peak condition finishing a wide second in a Guineas trial at Leopardstown making her season’s debut in April, and since has shot to the head of her class.

A powerful gray filly by Galileo out of Laddies Poker Too, by Choisir, Winter has won three of her six starts while never finishing worse than third. She is expected to continue her campaign in the Group 1 Coronation Stakes at the Royal Ascot meeting.

*** Earlier on the Sunday card at The Curragh, Decorated Knight won the Group 1 Tattersalls Gold Cup, beating the filly Somehow by 1 1/4 lengths.

Deauville finished a distant third in the race over 1 5/16 miles. It was the second Group 1 success for Decorated Knight, who earlier this year captured the Jebel Hatta Stakes at Meydan, though he could only finish sixth there in the $6 million Dubai Turf. Andrea Atzeni rode Decorated Knight, a 5-year-old son of Galileo and the Storm Cat mare Pearling, for trainer Roger Charlton.
*** In France, Mekhtaal won the Group 1 Prix d’Ispahan at Deauville, a race in which favored Zarak finished last of five and quickly was pulled up. A 4-year-old by Sea The Stars out of the Silver Hawk mare Aiglonne, Mekhtaal is trained by Jean-Claude Rouget for Al Shaqab Racing and was ridden Sunday by Gregory Benoist. Winning for the first time at the Group 1 level, Mekhtaal tracked pace-setting Robin of Navan, collared him just before the finish of the nine-furlong race, and won by a neck. Usherette finished third in a less-than-memorable renewal of the Ispahan.