Big decision on Latrobe’s York options awaits trainer Joseph O’Brien

Joseph O'Brien rode Australia to victory in the 2014 Juddmonte International. Now a trainer, his Irish Derby winner Latrobe could feature in next month's renewal on the Knavesmire.
Joseph O'Brien rode Australia to victory in the 2014 Juddmonte International. Now a trainer, his Irish Derby winner Latrobe could feature in next month's renewal on the Knavesmire.
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IRISH Derby hero Latrobe is set to make his next appearance in either the Sky Bet Great Voltigeur Stakes or the Juddmonte International at York’s Ebor festival next month.

Trained by Joseph O’Brien and ridden by his younger brother Donnacha, the siblings got the better of their world renowned father Aidan, who saddled the second, third and fourth home on the Classic.

Whether he goes for the Voltigeur or the Juddmonte, we’ll see nearer the time. We won’t make a decision on which race he’ll run in until we have to make it. He seems in good form.

Trainer Joseph O’Brien

It was the latest high-profile training success enjoyed by O’Brien junior. A Classic-winning rider, he’s also proved his versatility by saddling the victors of the Melbourne Cup, and Irish Gold Cup over steeplechase fences, in the past year.

He now faces a decision on whether to stick to a mile-and-a-half with Latrobe in the Voltigeur – but drop down to Group Two level – or test his powers at a mile-and-a-quarter in the Group One International.

“We haven’t made any definite plans, but I think the most likely scenario is he’ll go to York for something there,” said the trainer, who rode his father’s Australia to victory in the 2014 Juddmonte.

“Whether he goes for the Voltigeur or the Juddmonte, we’ll see nearer the time. We won’t make a decision on which race he’ll run in until we have to make it. He seems in good form.”

O’Brien, who only gave up riding because of his weight, and owner Lloyd Williams combined to claim Melbourne Cup glory with Rekindling in November, and Latrobe is quoted at a general 25-1 by bookmakers for this year’s running of the ‘race that stops a nation’.

O’Brien added: “It’s too far away to discuss that (Melbourne Cup).”

Yorkshire-based jump jockey John Kington rode out his apprentice rider’s claim when Ruaraidh Hugh, trained at Leyburn by Julia Brooke, won at Worcester.

Kington, who now has 75 winners to his name, had his first rides in the 2003-04 season.