Aidan O’Brien

aidan o'brien

Aidan O’Brien Trainer

Born in County Wexford in October 1969, Aidan O'Brien has dominated the flat scene in England and Ireland for all eternity it would seem.

One of six children to Denis and Stella O'Brien, he has been the private master trainer at Ballydoyle Stables near Cashel in County Tipperary for owner John Magnier and his Coolmore associates for over twenty years.

He did start working professionally with horses at P.J. Finn's racing stables at the Curragh, County Kildare beforehand, prior to moving to Jim Bolger's home at Coolcullen, County Carlow.

The 49-year-old now has four children himself with wife Anne-Marie, named Sarah, Anastasia, Donnacha and eldest Joseph, who has taken out his own trainers license in the past few years.

O'Brien has won virtually everything there is to win as a trainer, with as many as thirty-eight sets of Guineas victories to start off with.

Eighteen of those have come in his native Ireland [7 in 1000gns / 11 in 2000gns], with a further fifteen in England [5 in 1000gns / 10 in 2000gns] including his double in 2019 with Magna Grecia and Hermosa prevailing on Newmarket’s Rowley Mile.

Exclusively to Britain, he has also taken six Epsom Derbies, seven Ascot Gold Cups and even three Champion Hurdles over jumps with the great Istabraq.

Most recently, he broke the world record for the number of Group One winners trained in a calendar year by enjoying 28 such victories in 2017.

Aidan O’Brien Horses

Aidan’s success has come about having so many standout horses in his yard throughout the years.

Looking down the list, none have been more influential than the great Derby winner of 2001 Galileo, who’s immediate offspring have amassed more than 70 Group One’s themselves; even add a few more if you include him as a grandsire or sire’s sire.

The now twenty-one-year-old fathered arguably the greatest horse of the modern era – Frankel, who was trained by Sir Henry Cecil, and retired unbeaten in fourteen starts.

Ruler Of The World, Australia, Order Of St George, Highland Reel and even more recently, the likes of Churchill, Minding and Winter have all been produced by Galileo over the past couple of decades and subsequently trained by O’Brien.

As a result of all his successful progeny, the Ballydoyle master has been allowed to dictate and self-control all five divisions on the flat for a vast number of years.

He has been spoilt with top sprinters Caravaggio and U S Navy Flag who both won Group Ones in Britain, but arguably most of his stars have come through the mile route.

Having already mentioned the Guineas, one of his former heroes Camelot moved on from the opening Classic at Newmarket in search of becoming the first Triple Crown winner since Nijinsky back in 1970, after he then won the Epsom Derby in 2012.

A rarity to even go for all three nowadays, Camelot braved the task of the St Leger, but just could not catch the Godolphin-owned Encke, ridden by Mickael Barzalona.

George Washington, Roderic O’Connor and Gleneagles were other top milers, whereas others we have mentioned from the Galileo link have unsurprisingly made it stepping up to a mile-and-a-half and beyond.

Ryan Moore Aidan O'Brien

Aidan O’Brien’s Stables

Aidan O’Brien has been the private master trainer at Ballydoyle Stables for owners John Magnier, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith since 1996.

Based near Cashel in County Tipperary, it was previously the home of Vincent O’Brien, who’s son-in-law is in fact Magnier, until he gave it up in 1995 - fourteen years before his sad passing at the age of 92.

Vincent purchased and moved into Ballydoyle after the 1951 Cheltenham Festival.

The primary gallop is said to be based on the turns, contours and undulations of Epsom Downs Racecourse, perhaps with the intention of giving Ballydoyle trained runners a key advantage in the Derby; a race in which many future stallions are created.

Aidan O'Brien has kept up and if not improved to those high standards and guidelines by training multiple top class horses that we have already mentioned.

The recently opened Giants Causeway stable, which was named after the champion racehorse who was resident at Ballydoyle, is hotel-like aesthetically and is everything you want from a modern day stable.

Due to the possibility of there being over 100 million’s worth of bloodstock in their stables, security is very tight at the Ballydoyle Stables and is not open for visitors.

Horses to follow from Aidan O’Brien

Just like any season nowadays, Aidan O’Brien has his usual band of runners ready to lay their assaults to the distinctive Group Ones of the campaign.

Despite training a triple-winning Champion Hurdler back in the day, all of his acquisitions mostly appear on the flat, with Aidan’s son Joseph operating as a dual-purpose trainer.

Winning the opening two Classics of the 2019 season with Magna Grecia and Hermosa, the Irish master will send his typical battalion to Epsom for the Oaks and the Derby on the last day of May and first day of June respectively.

At one stage, O’Brien trained seven of the top eight in the market, with the other being champion two-year-old Too Darn Hot prior to his defeat in the Dante.

At the time of writing ten days before the next Classic in the Colts division, he had four of the top five in the market, including Sir Dragonet who needs to be supplemented for the contest.

Broome, Anthony Van Dyck and Circus Maximus all represent other leading chances having come through respective Derby trials in the late spring and early summer, as is the case for Fleeting and Pink Dogwood in the Oaks division.

The likes of Japan and Norway will relish steps up in trip and could fight out the St Leger at Doncaster between themselves, whilst Magna Grecia, Ten Sovereigns and the exciting Monarch Of Egypt all remain high prospects over a mile or below for the season ahead.