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O'Brien pays tribute to brother after Irish Derby glory

 

By Thomas Kelly

Joseph O'Brien reflected on one the greatest days of his life after saddling Latrobe to claim Irish Derby glory.

O'Brien is no stranger to big-race success, having won multiple Group Ones and Classics during his riding days before turning his attentions to the training game in 2016.

And, in the last 12 months, the dual-purpose handler has won a Melbourne Cup with Rekindling and an Irish Gold Cup with Edwulf.

But this was extra special as Latrobe provided him with his first Classic victory as a trainer.

Ridden by his brother Donnacha, the Camelot colt saw off four runners trained by their father Aidan O'Brien to record a famous triumph at The Curragh on Saturday.

"It was an unbelievable day. For the horse to win and Donnacha to ride him was special. It was right up there with any day in my life really," said the delighted trainer.

"We thought we had a good chance of finishing in the first four. We were going to drop in, but there was no speed on, so Donnacha let him move forward and slot in second. That was probably the winning of the race. We loved the horse from day one."

O'Brien paid tribute to his brother, who was winning his third Classic of the season after winning the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket on Saxon Warrior and the Investec Oaks at Epsom on Forever Together.

"I can't actually remember the last day Donnacha rode out in my yard. He's in Ballydoyle every day of the week but he rides for me when we take the horses away. He obviously rides a lot of them on the track and we speak pretty much every day. We're very close in that regard.

"Donnacha is probably a bit more relaxed than I ever was. He takes things in his stride and he's probably a bit more dedicated with his weight.

"He appreciates that he's not going to be able to ride forever and he makes the most of what he can when he can."

O'Brien is in no rush to firm up future targets for Latrobe, adding: "Obviously there's all the good races for him. He'll probably have to step up again to take on the older horses.

"We hadn't thought much further than yesterday, so we'll enjoy yesterday and have a chat with Lloyd and Nick (Williams, owners) and regroup this week."

Latrobe outstayed the Ballydoyle quartet Rostropovich, Saxon Warrior, Delano Roosevelt and The Pentagon, in that order, to lead home an O'Brien 1-2-3-4-5 in Ireland's premier Flat race.

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