A Derby winning horse trained by an O’Brien is a very common sight over the past number of years, but in most cases it’s Aidan taking the plaudits. However, at the Curragh on Sunday it was his eldest son Joseph 25 who took the honours, as his Latrobe ridden superbly by his brother Donnacha won the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby.
In doing so, he managed to hold off all four of his father’s entries, beating Rostropovich, Saxon Warrior, Delano Roosevelt and The Pentagon, as the O’Brien clan finished 1,2,3,4,5.
Latrobe, owned by Australian property developer Lloyd Williams, broke well and settled in second just behind Rostropovich. As the field turned into the home straight Donnacha let him go, but favourite Saxon Warrior was hot on his heels.
The colt, who won his maiden at the same track only 3 week’s previously, settled down for a battle, but Saxon Warrior never got nearer than his hind quarters. Rostropovich, to his credit, battled back very bravely on his inside and looked like a winner as the line got ever closer. However Latrobe stuck to his task well to claim the prize for the young O’Brien duo, winning by a length and a half.
All the talk prior to the race was all about Saxon Warrior and the English trained Epsom Derby runner-up Dee Ex Bee. The Mark Johnson trained colt never really got into the race, and was found to have pulled a right-fire shoe.
Winning jockey Donnacha O’Brien, who was winning his third Classic of the season after Saxon Warrior at Newmarket and Forever Together in the Oaks at Epsom said, “I didn’t plan to be that forward, but the pace was slow. I held my position and he stayed really well to the line.”
“It’s pretty incredible and it’s not really sinking in yet. It’s a special moment.”
“We’ve always thought he was a really good horse and he’s never run a bad race, but we just thought a few times that he’d run better.”
He’s shown today that he’s very good.”
His older brother, Trainer Joseph who won the race on Australia and Camelot as a jockey said, “It’s unbelievable really. I have to thank everyone in the yard, especially Joey Fallon who rides him out, and Lloyd and Nick (Williams) who have been so good to me. I’m so grateful and lucky.”
“We always loved him and bought him as a yearling in Newmarket. From day one we loved him and he never really let us down.”
On his brothers ride Joseph said, “Donnacha had a perfect position all the way, and committed him at the perfect time. The horse is tough and stays well. Donnacha gave him a great ride and went forward when the plan was to drop him in but that was the winning and losing the race”
Pic by Tattersalls