herald

Tuesday 6 December 2016

Joseph earns title of legend with return to the saddle

Joseph O'Brien. Pic: PA
Joseph O'Brien. Pic: PA

Joseph O'Brien came out of retirement in triumph with an enterprising ride on Phosphorescence to win the Clipper Logistics Leger Legends Classified Stakes at Doncaster.

The two-time Irish champion only gave up riding earlier this year to concentrate on training, but showed he had lost none of his talent when making most on the George Scott-trained six-year-old.

O'Brien won the 2013 St Leger on Leading Light for his father Aidan and the 23-year-old showed tremendous confidence as he steered Phosphorescence (7-1) home over the straight mile.

Janaab (20-1), partnered by former jump jockey Peter Buchanan, was second with Red Charmer (20-1) third in the hands of 69-year-old George Duffield.

Tug

O'Brien said: "He took a nice tug the whole way and in fairness to George (Scott), he said if he runs like he works, he'll have a good chance. He was right.

"It was great. It was nice to ride a winner and thanks to George and everyone for giving me the ride.

"It was a great experience. George said to keep it simple which is why I went on so far out."

When asked how his own stamina lasted out, he said: "If I get back to the weighing room, I'll have done well. My legs are like jelly."

Buchanan said of his ride on Janaab: "It was fantastic and I really enjoyed it.

"I sat at the back and bided my time and the further he has gone, the better (he was). He was really staying on at the finish."

Three-time champion jockey Richard Hughes, who was fourth on Bluff Crag, said: "It was good fun, but there will be no comeback."

Former jump jockey now TV presenter Luke Harvey finished fifth on Gun Case and said: "What an adrenaline buzz that was."

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