Having drawn level with the late Bobby Frankel on Champions Day at Ascot last weekend through Hydrangea, the master of Ballydoyle now has his sights set on an incredible 26th top-level winner of 2017.
Two of his runners, Saxon Warrior, a son of Deep Impact and the choice of Ryan Moore, and The Pentagon, currently dominate the betting for the Investec Derby next year, while a third, Seahenge, won the Champagne Stakes at Doncaster’s St Leger meeting.
“Saxon Warrior seems to be in good form since Naas. Hopefully the ground will be nice there,” said O’Brien.
Of Seahenge, who subsequently finished third in the Dewhurst when he suffered a trouble passage, he said: “Obviously he only ran (recently) in the Dewhurst, but he seems to be in good form since.
“The Pentagon has had a bit of a break since his run the last time in the Tyros. He seems to be in good form and is just ready to start back.”
Coat Of Arms is the fourth runner, although he looks up against it on his form so far.
“He’s in good form. He had a good run when second in the Futurity and is stepping up to a mile now,” said O’Brien.
Despite the two Ballydoyle youngsters heading the market for next year’s Classic, there is a runner in the race who has achieved more on the track this year in the shape of Jim Bolger’s Verbal Dexterity.
He has a Group 1 win to his name in the National Stakes but was supposed to be in the Dewhurst only to be ruled out with a dirty scope.
“I’m very much looking forward to it,” said Bolger. “Obviously he couldn’t run in the Dewhurst because his scope wasn’t 100% now. The ground looks like being good so there’s no problems on that score.
“Hopefully he’ll win again, we’ll give it our best shot.”