If anyone needs proof of Joseph O’Brien’s talents as a trainer they should look no further than the victory of Latrobe in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby at the Curragh on Saturday.
Admittedly being the son of Aidan O’Brien means he has been given a bit of a leg-up in life, but even still his achievements are already quite staggering.
He had already won the Melbourne Cup with Rekindling before Latrobe, in the same Lloyd and Nick Williams colours, gave him a first Classic triumph as a trainer.
To top it all doing the steering was his younger brother Donnacha who, like Joseph, is unlikely to have a long career in the saddle due to his substantial frame.
This was, though, his third Classic win of the season having already won the 2000 Guineas on Saxon Warrior (third on this occasion) and the Oaks on Forever Together.
The victory was also a notable first Classic for Latrobe’s sire Camelot, winner of the race in 2012.
“He had a perfect position all the way and committed him at the perfect time. The horse is tough and stays well,” said Joseph O’Brien.
“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.”
While Saxon Warrior had to settle for third in the Irish Derby, Aidan O’Brien and Ryan Moore still enjoyed a Saturday treble with Battle Of Jericho, Fleet Review and Van Beethoven.
Withhold ran out an easy winner of the Northumberland Plate at Newcastle despite trainer Roger Charlton warning prior to the race he may lack sharpness on his first run of the season.
Not seen since turning the Cesarewitch into a procession, he made most of the running for Robert Winston to justify 5-1 favouritism.
Charlton said: “The form of the Cesarewitch was well franked. Those first four or five horses have all run well, so the form was very solid.
“I guess in hindsight the handicapper could have put him up a little bit more. He will obviously go up another 10lb or so, I guess, but he is a nice horse.
“Watching him round there it looked like he was going quite slowly, but he has got a good cruising speed and is a very straightforward, nice horse.
“All the horses have been slow to come to hand. Out of our last six runners five have won, but before that we were all over the shop and had more lasts than firsts.
Aidan O’Brien and Moore combined to claim three winners at the Curragh yesterday taking their tally for the three-day meeting to nine. So Perfect justified 6-4 favouritism in the Grangecon Stud Stakes, Yucatan (2-1) dominated from the front in the Finlay Volvo International Stakes and Flag Of Honour did the same in the Comer Group International Curragh Cup.
However, the top team were upstaged in the Group One Juddmonte Pretty Polly Stakes, with their Investec Oaks heroine and 4-6 favourite Forever Together ultimately no match for the William Haggas-trained British raider Urban Fox (9-1), who powered clear under Danny Tudhope.
The winning trainer’s wife and assistant Maureen Haggas said: “William said he wanted to step her up in trip and she’s really enjoyed it. She’s done really well. She’ll be given a bit of a break now.”
In France, Andre Fabre’s Waldgeist outpointed John Gosden-trained mare Coronet in a thrilling climax to the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud. Sylvester Kirk’s Salouen was a clear third.