Retired trainer Brendan Powell exclusively revealed on Sunday morning that he would be teaming up with Irish young-riser Joseph O’Brien as his new assistant.
The 58-year-old – who won the Aintree Grand National aboard Rhyme ‘N’ Reason back in 1988, announced his decision on Sky Sports Racing, which will see him return to his native country of Ireland.
Powell stated when confirming his retirement last week that he intended to stay in the game in one capacity or another, and has since cleared up all the rumours.
(Credit: Racing Post) He said: "Joseph has a big yard and he's going places. I've had a few mornings there, and it's fantastically run with great staff.
"Joseph wants to spend more time in the yard so I'm going to go racing and look after owners and syndicates. I'll also be at the yard in the mornings to watch horses schooling.
"There will be a lot of racing, which I enjoy. It looks a fantastic opportunity. I never thought I'd go back to live in Ireland, as much as I love it there, because I've been here [in Britain] since 1977.
"I've got to an age where I need to do something where the pressure is off. I'm really looking forward to it,” he finished.
Based in Lambourn, Powell called time on his near-twenty year training career just last week, blaming financial pressure as the solitary reason for his unanticipated shutdown of the yard.
He registered more than 600 winners under both codes as a trainer, and will most fondly be remembered with the international success he shared with Dark Emerald, who prevailed twice at Meydan back in 2015, including in the District One Handicap under jockey Richard Mullen.
The Irishman will also be letting go of his highest-profile winner of late - Kasperenko, who provided the former dual Scottish-National winning jockey with Listed success back in November, when he scored in the Floodlit Stakes at Kempton.
The four-year-old looks to be an exciting recruit for whatever trainer picks him up, but Powell will now be focused on enhancing the-already glamourous looking CV young Joseph O’Brien has strung together.
At just 25, O’Brien junior was granted a trainer’s license back in June 2016, just two months after ending his career as a jockey.
Based in County Kilkenny, O’Brien also runs a dual-purpose stable, and has already been littered with success in the last two years – somewhat reminiscent of his father Aiden.
O’Brien collected his maiden Group One success within months of starting when Intricately won the Moyglare Stud Stakes at the Curragh, beating two of his dad’s fillies.
In just his second year, O’Brien took his campaign onto the international stage when Rekindling memorably took the Melbourne Cup at Flemington.
He has since continued a fine run of big-race victories, with Edwulf’s emotional Irish Gold Cup triumph, a first Classic with Latrobe in the Irish Derby, both in 2018 before he added a first Cheltenham Festival success last month, when Band Of Outlaws won the Fred Winter Handicap Hurdle.
Early Doors added a second festival success on the final day of the meeting, but there could have been more if not for Le Richebourg’s exclusion and the sad outcome to Sir Erec.