It was a turbulent day for Aidan O'Brien and Coolmore on Sunday but Andy Stephens believes they will continue to sweep all before them
There have rarely been three quite so gloomy bulletins delivered in such rapid succession. And never, you suspect, from one source.
Any day a Derby winner suffers a career-ending injury is depressing and, if that were not bad enough, followed news that Somehow had lost her life plus a worrying update on Minding which, reading between the lines, suggests she is highly unlikely to run again this season.
Indeed, it is not stretching the imagination to suggest that, like Wings Of Eagles, Minding might have also run her final race.
The seven-time Group One winner is probably the greatest filly O’Brien has trained - a debate involving her and Found can wait for another day - but would there be any appetite to bring her back as a five-year-old after her training travails?
It must be odds against, especially with Winter (the horse, not the season) apparently ready to fill the void.
At least connections will be able to look forward to Minding's future offspring, a luxury not afforded to Somehow.
A daughter of Fastnet Rock, Somehow easily won at Newmarket's Guineas meeting and chased home Decorated Knight in the Tattersalls Gold Cup on her latest start.
She would have been a worthy addition to Coolmore's brand of broodmares, when the time came, but she could not be saved after fracturing a cannon bone. "She's a big loss, she was a great filly," O'Brien said.
Such a triple whammy would be catastrophic to most yards but O’Brien and Coolmore operate on a different level to the rest and, by the end of the year, you suspect the bad news relayed on Sunday may represent little more than a bump in the road.
It was certainly business as usual at the Curragh later in the afternoon as O’Brien and Ryan Moore combined to land Group Three prizes with Johannes Vermeer and Clemmie, plus the opening maiden with Gustav Klimt.
In addition, Rain Goddess beat all bar Nezwaah in the Group One Pretty Polly Stakes.
The X-ray which revealed the extent of the injury suffered by Wings Of Eagles (Press Association)
O’Brien has already scooped ten Group One prizes this season through the combined efforts of Churchill, Winter, Highland Reel, Wings Of Eagles, Caravaggio and Capri.
With the exception of Wings Of Eagles, it would come as no surprise if this group continue to flourish at the highest level and next weekend he will saddle Cliffs Of Moher, general 3-1 favourite for the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown.
The show then moves onto Newmarket, when Caravaggio will be hot favourite for the July Cup and the trainer has numerous candidates for the Falmouth Stakes at the same meeting.
After a brief pause, the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot will follow - with brothers Highland Reel and Idaho on course for what could be a memorable clash.
Last year, the O’Brien’s two-year-olds combined to win six Group One races and his team of 2017 is also shaping up nicely. Clemmie was an emphatic winner on Sunday, when scoring at the expense of a stablemate, while September and Sioux Nation were impressive winners at Royal Ascot.
There will be plenty more sons and daughters of Galileo to follow.
Throw in such as Order Of St George, Seventh Heaven, Alice Springs, Deauville, Lancaster Bomber and Orderofthegarter and it is clear that the opposition, even without Wings Of Eagles and Minding to worry about, are still swimming against a formidable tide.
Select any odd to add a bet