O'Briens claim title double

  • Last Updated: November 4 2012, 15:53 GMT

Joseph O'Brien put the seal on another brilliant Irish Flat season for his famous family when winning his first jockeys' championship at the age of 19.

Joseph and Aidan O'Brien: Have enjoyed a fine season

Champion apprentice only a year ago, and joint-champion the season before, O'Brien junior showed how much he had grown into the real deal in such a short time despite having a constant battle with his weight.

It is over 60 years since a jockey was crowned champion apprentice one year and champion jockey the next.

Aidan O'Brien has been champion trainer continuously since 1998, but the achievement of the O'Briens in winning both titles is the first time a father and son have been crowned since 1916.

Joseph proved the perfect partner as stable jockey to his father's powerful Ballydoyle establishment with a host of big-race winners both at home and abroad, highlighted for the most part by Camelot, whose three Classic successes included the Irish Derby.

Among his other successes in Ireland for his father were on Power in the Irish 2000 Guineas and So You Think in the Tattersalls Gold Cup.

As for the title, the young rider was pushed hard by six-times champion Pat Smullen before taking the honours by 87 winners to 84.

However, neither protagonist was involved in the final weekend of the Irish Flat season as both riders were in America for the Breeders' Cup.

O'Brien senior has looked after some of the greats of the game in recent decades such as Rock Of Gibraltar, Hawk Wing, George Washington, High Chaparral and the new eminent sire, Galileo.

This season O'Brien came close to creating history by winning the first four British classics as Homecoming Queen took the 1000 Guineas, Was the Oaks and Camelot the 2000 Guineas and Derby.

If Camelot had won the St Leger and with it the Triple Crown, the Ballydoyle handler would have been the first trainer to have won all five Classics in the same season.

The O'Briens will receive their honours at the HRI Awards.

Completing the clean sweep for the Coolmore team is Derrick Smith, who claimed the champion owner title.

Smith is part of the Coolmore triumvirate, along with John Magnier and Michael Tabor, and his purple-and-white colours were carried to success this season by So You Think and Camelot among others.


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