THE finest of Kilkenny racing stock was the toast of Epsom on the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebration weekend.
A Kilkenny bred horse pounced from long odds of 20-1 to take the Oaks English Classic on Friday.
And 24 hours later things got even better when Piltown born jockey, Joseph O’Brien, and his famous dad, Aidan, swept all before them as the famous Ballydoyle stables claimed a hard to credit fifth of the six Classics run in Ireland and England this season.
The peerless father/son O’Brien combination continues to rewrite the history books in racing almost every time they saddle a horse at a big meeting.
Never before had a trainer won the Derby with a horse ridden by his son, and never before had one trainer won the first four Classics of the season in Britain.
Of course, creating history is nothing new for the O’Briens’. Last year they passed a new milestone in America when becoming the first father/son combination to win the Breeders Cup in Churchill Downs with Joseph riding St Nicholas Abbey.
This time, aboard the regally named, Camelot, Joseph O’Brien, sprinted from near the rear of the field to a commanding victory in the Investec Derby. Some weeks ago the O’Brien/Camelot partnership won the 2000 Guineas.
Camelot may be the prince of the Coolmore Stud at the moment, but Mr O’Brien (senior) is the king of the racing world such is his golden touch for producing big race winners.
On top of the 200 or so Group I winners he has produced, he has trained 46 winners in the British and Irish Classics in his 16 seasons at Ballydoyle.
Following on the stunning Derby win, Joseph O’Brien (19) then romped to victory in the Coronation Cup aboard St Nicholas Abbey.
In Epsom for win
On Friday, the Kilkenny bred Was (Galileo – Alluring Park) obliged for O’Brien in the Oaks. Was, a 20-1 shot, was bred in Lodge Park Stud, Freshford, by Seamus Burns.
Alluring Park, a relatively young mare, is out of the famous Park Express, and is still at the Lodge Park Stud. Mr Burns and his wife, Patricia were in Epsom to enjoy the big win.
“She’s a great looking filly with a great pedigree,” Aidan O’Brien said.
Mr O’Brien is married to the former Miss Ann Marie Crowley from Tullahought, Piltown.
Joseph O’Brien was the winner of the Supreme Award in the Hotel Kilkenny and Kilkenny People sports star of the year awards scheme in February following his history making exploits in the Breeders Cup.