Donnacha Retains Irish Title With Retirement At The Back of His Mind

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Donnacha O'Brien

Donnacha O'Brien sealed the Irish jockeys title for the second year running at Naas on Sunday after the 21 year old had been in a battle for the trophy all year long with ex champion Colin Keane.

However, with the youngster over the moon with his achievement the question of retirement loomed in the air with the racing world wanting to know what the next step is for the rider.

He refused to comment on the issue but has already put plans in motion to become a trainer in the future already setting up a facility in Longfield with his father Aidan confirming that the unbeaten Fancy Blue was under his wing after she won for a second time at the Curragh last month.

The double champion jockey landed 111 winners for he season that saw him take the title for a consecutive term and his final winner of the season came on Nobel Prize who is a full brother to frequent Group One winner Highland Reel and he looks a horse to watched next season.

Donnacha overall finished eight ahead of his rival Keane which saw a historic moment in Irish flat racing history as it was the first time that two jockeys scored over 100 winners in a season.

(Credit Racing Post) O'Brien said: "You are all absolutely mad for me to retire!

"The plan is the same as always, I will take it one year at a time and it is nice to get this one out of the way."I am looking forward to taking a break and thinking about things. We'll see."

The young rider winning his second title topped off a superb week for the O'Brien brothers with previous jockey and now established trainer Joseph O'Brien becoming the youngest trainer to land a winner at the Breeders Cup thanks to Iridessa in the Filly & Mare Turf.

The O'Brien's (Aidan, Joseph and Donnacha) are the leading lights in Irish racing and the youngest of the lot had his time to shine this weekend when normally a lot of the praise goes to his father.

Donnacha O'Brien said: "It was a good, old battle and I was glad to come out on top. Obviously your first championship is very special but it was great to get to back it up.

"It really did feel like a proper battle this year. I don't know what Colin made of it all, but I found that whenever I wasn't riding in a race I would be looking out for whatever Colin was riding and see how he is getting on. In the last few weeks it felt as though we were both riding to beat each other so it really did feel like a good, old battle and I enjoyed it."

The rider was full of admiration for Colin Keane and admits he had to work harder than ever to be able to retain his title.

"For both of us to ride over 100 winners shows how good of a rider Colin is too. He wouldn't have the ammunition I have, so for him to ride so many winners is a credit to him," said the champion jockey.

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