herald

Friday 30 September 2016

Joseph's start four-midable

Joseph O’Brien’s trains his first official winner with Justice Frederick and brother Donnacha riding in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden at Gowran Park. Pic: racingpost.com
Joseph O’Brien’s trains his first official winner with Justice Frederick and brother Donnacha riding in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden at Gowran Park. Pic: racingpost.com

Joseph O'Brien admitted that Saturday was the first day since he retired as a jockey that he missed race riding but the 23-year-old couldn't have got his new career off to a better start with four winners yesterday.

Unofficially, the former champion jockey will forever be able to boast a Grade One Cheltenham Festival winner in the shape of Ivanovich Gorbatov but the name of his father, Aidan, will always be beside that one in the record books.

Having only got his own licence rubber-stamped on Friday afternoon, Joseph could finally send out runners in his own name yesterday and he was responsible for seven in total between the all-Flat card at Gowran Park and the National Hunt fixture at Listowel.

Fledging

Somewhat unsurprisingly, O'Brien enjoyed success at both meetings but such is his intent to grow his fledging business, Ireland's newest trainer wasn't at either meeting as he instead went to Goffs to inspect potential purchases at this week's Land Rover Sale which begins at midday today.

Joseph O'Brien's first runner was guided to victory by his brother, Donnacha, as Justice Frederick overcame the well-supported newcomer Leo Minor, trained by his father Aidan O'Brien, at Gowran.

Already, while running horses under his father's name, Joseph has assembled a bit of a team for Royal Ascot later in the month and Justice Frederick might be another one bound for that meeting.

Aidan O'Brien himself was in Listowel where the roles were reversed and he was representing Joseph after he watched his daughter, Sarah, ride Oathkeeper to an impressive success in the concluding bumper.

Commenting on the terrific start his son had made to training, Aidan said: "How can you improve on that?"

O'Brien quipped: "Straight away I got put in my place," referring to being beaten by Joseph's Justice Frederick in the first race."

June 6 is going a very significant date for the O'Briens as not only was it the date that Joseph sent out his first winners but the same date that Aidan opened his account as a trainer back in 1993.

Massive

"It's a massive day for us and it's great to get a win both over jumps and on the Flat. I couldn't believe when someone said to me that it was 23 years ago to the meeting (then at Tralee) that I had my first winner with Wandering Thoughts - I couldn't believe that, it is some coincidence. Joseph loves it (training) - he loved riding but it was tough for him for a long time (with weight); doing 9st every morning was very hard. He's a big man now, he's well over 11st and he doesn't look heavy."

Joseph's next possible engagement is at Clonmel on Friday where he has a newcomer called Oh Me Oh My entered in both a maiden hurdle and a bumper.

It was also revealed over the weekend that Qatar Racing are among his owners so it certainly is exciting times ahead.

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