Posted with permission from AFP
Jockey Ryan Moore talks to trainer Aidan O'Brien at the Breeders' Cup World Championships in Arcadia, California on November 4, 2016 Getty/AFP/File / Harry How

Aidan O'Brien is unlikely to be popping the corks on the champagne this evening unlike the late Bobby Frankel his predecessor as holder of the world record for Group One winners in a season.

Instead the 48-year-old Irishman -- who broke the record with Saxon Warrior at Doncaster on Saturday - is more likely to have a cup of tea in his typical understated and humble way which sets him apart from many of his rivals.

O'Brien may lack the extrovert cheeky chappie style of American Bob Baffert, not possess the charisma of the late Henry Cecil or the bonhomie of Michael Stoute but he is a reflective deep thinking soul more cast in the mould of his namesake the late Vincent O'Brien.

Blood relations they may not be but since 1996 Aidan O'Brien has been installed in Ballydoyle Stables which Vincent bought in 1951 and turned into a state of the art training ground for legends such as Nijinsky, Alleged and El Gran Senor.

O'Brien, who began life working for Irish training great Jim Bolger and moved on to be assistant to his wife Anne-Marie Crowley, a champion National Hunt trainer, has adopted the Rudyard Kipling line of meeting success and failure with the same grace.

"I always feel you do your best every day, whatever comes then, you have to accept it," he told The Independent in 2009.

"We all make loads of mistakes, with people, and decisions you make.

"My own opinion is that if you keep the faith, and say your prayers, it has a chance of working out. I've made loads of mistakes. But I've always been so thankful, going to bed every night. You don't have to believe in God, to ask for God's help.

"If you ask, it will come. It might not come today, might not come tomorrow, might not come the way you want. But when you look back it will be the right thing."

For O'Brien -- whose intensity and attention to detail is evident even on race day walking the course and sometimes accompanying the more temperamental of his stable down to the start -- it is clear from the early part of the year which horses are going to shine and which ones will face a tough old time of it.

"I am but a small link in a big chain," Irish trainer Aidan O'Brien said after he broke the world record for Group/Grade One wins in a calendar year Saturday AFP/File / GLYN KIRK

- 'Heaven or hell' -

"Their eyes can tell you an awful lot about them and how they're behaving," he told American racing magazine The Bloodhorse last year.

"The bad ones show themselves very quickly, especially amongst good horses.

"You know very early, sometimes in February or March, what they're capable of."

For Michael Tabor -- who along with fellow tycoon Derrick Smith assumed a lot of the ownership of the horses after being persuaded to by Vincent O'Brien's son-in-law John Magnier -- says he never has any concerns about the horses arriving needing a race.

"I always know, with the way Aidan trains them, that they're in the locker," he told the Daily Telegraph in 2013.

"It's just a question of where he decides to bring them out.

"If you try and find out everything at home you're not going to win the Derby."

O'Brien even earned rare praise from Alex Ferguson.

The former Manchester United boss told AFP back in 2002 that the Irishman -- who trained his horse Rock of Gibraltar to seven successive Group One wins -- reminded him of himself when he managed Aberdeen in the way he addressed every one of his staff by name and the way he genuinely looked out for them despite the enormous pressures he was under.

O'Brien -- who can be seen constantly on the phone on race days and come sun or rain always adorned with dark glasses -- has always been sanguine about whether the glory days will one day come to an end.

"I'm very relaxed. The biggest gift any of us can have is our health. The rest doesn't matter," he told The Independent.

"If you want to look at the bigger picture, we're a bunch of ants running around a little dot.

"That's the reality of this world. We're all in our bodies to get the best out of them.

"Our bodies will last maybe 80 years. But then we're gone, gone somewhere else.

"And where we go, we can never try to understand that, because we're not supposed to.

"I look at people trying to see heaven or hell, but our minds aren't made to understand that."