Jumps Season - At The Races

Joseph O'Brien Stable Tour

    Joseph O’Brien’s fledgling training career is firmly in the ascendency and here he runs the rule over his team of young and progressive National Hunt horses which could continue his upward curve in 2017/18.
  • Features

Joseph O’Brien has achieved more in racing at the age of 24 that most could dream of achieving in a lifetime, yet the remarkable thing is that he is really only just getting started.

As a jockey he rode 31 Group/Grade 1 winners including two renewals of the Derby at Epsom before the inevitable day came where his substantial frame made it impractical for him to make the weight required to ride on the Flat.

While he was still just 22 years old when that day came, he had already been playing a major role as a trainer under his father Aidan's name on Owning Hill, with him being given all the credit for the success of Ivanovich Gorbatov in the JCB Triumph Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in 2016.

Having been granted his own licence to train in June 2016, O’Brien made the perfect start by saddling four winners on his first day with runners and hasn’t looked back since.

He reached a notable milestone when saddling his first Group 1 winner as a trainer when Intricately won the Moyglare Stud Stakes under his brother Donnacha last year and since then he has been saddling ever-increasing numbers of winners under both codes and notably saddled Tigris River to win the Galway Hurdle.

Joseph sat down with attheraces.com’s Kevin Blake to discuss his National Hunt team for the upcoming season.

All Horses

Apparition (IRE)

Form Profile:

Rated 89 on the Flat, he made an encouraging hurdling debut when third in a winners-of-two juvenile hurdle at Gowran Park in September and built on that when winning a maiden hurdle at Thurles in October.

Trainer Says:

He did well to win a maiden hurdle at Thurles the other day. His jumping was good early on, but he didn’t jump the last three hurdles perfectly, so he had to work hard and show a good attitude to get up and win by a nose. The winners-of-two juvenile hurdle at Down Royal on November 4th will be his next target and hopefully it will be on to the Grade 3 juvenile hurdle at Fairyhouse on December 3rd after that. He’ll definitely handle soft ground and I’d be hopeful he’ll be OK on proper winter ground if he ever meets it.

Video Form
4 Nov 2017:
12 Oct 2017:
30 Sep 2017:
10 Sep 2017:
28 Aug 2017:

Arkwrisht (FR)

Form Profile:

A 138-rated chaser, he got off the mark over fences in a maiden chase at Kilbeggan in August and went on to finish a close second in the Kerry National at Listowel.

Trainer Says:

He ran very well in the Kerry National, but he took a fall in the Munster National last time. He’s fine after that and we won’t rush him back, but the Cork Grand National on November 5th will be considered for him. Winter ground will be no problem for him.

Video Form
5 Nov 2017:
8 Oct 2017:
13 Sep 2017:
25 Aug 2017:
12 Aug 2017:

Bhutan

  • 4-y-o; gelding
  • Breeding: Galileo - Ecology (Unbridled's Song)
  • Trained by: Joseph P O'Brien
  • Last Race: Galway, 30 Oct 2017 15:30
  • Result: 5/8, rear of mid-division, 5th at 6th, not fluent 4 out, progress to 3rd 3 out, dropped to 5th at last, ridden and kept on one pace
  • View full form
Form Profile:

Rated 87 on the Flat, he won a maiden hurdle at Tipperary in July prior to running below form in a novice hurdle at the Galway Festival.

Trainer Says:

He just ran too free in the Irish Cesarewitch and didn’t get home at all. He’ll go back over hurdles soon and we’ll probably drop him back to two miles. He’s only had six runs in his life, so more racing experience will do him good.

Video Form
30 Oct 2017:
8 Oct 2017:
23 Aug 2017:
3 Aug 2017:
23 Jul 2017:

Early Doors (FR)

Form Profile:

Made an impressive winning debut in a bumper at Punchestown in February and ran well to finish a close third in the Land Rover Bumper at the Punchestown Festival.

Trainer Says:

He’s an exciting horse. He’s nearly ready to start off in a maiden hurdle and has been schooling well. We’ll probably start him off over two miles, but he’s one that could step up in trip in time. I’d be hopeful he can be a Graded novice hurdler.

Video Form
11 Nov 2017:
30 Oct 2017:
25 Apr 2017:
22 Feb 2017:

Edwulf

  • 8-y-o; bay gelding
  • Breeding: Kayf Tara - Valentines Lady (Zaffaran)
  • Trained by: Joseph P O'Brien
  • Last Race: Cheltenham, 14 Mar 2017 16:50
  • Result: PU/18, held up towards rear, headway approaching 4 out, went close 2nd when pecked 2 out, about 5 lengths off winner and looked beaten when awkward last, soon went wrong, lost 2nd and pulled up
  • View full form
Form Profile:

A 152-rated chaser, he overcame some jumping difficulties to come good over fences last season, winning twice including a valuable novices’ handicap chase at Naas in February. Well-fancied for the National Hunt Chase at the Cheltenham Festival, he collapsed after being pulled up on the run-in, but has since recovered.

Trainer Says:

He had a very rough experience in the National Hunt Chase at the Cheltenham Festival in March where he looked to go wrong and was pulled up on the run-in. The vets said that what happened was basically caused by a lack of oxygen. He was trying so hard that he ran out of oxygen and his body shut itself down so that the oxygen could be diverted straight to his vital organs. He was very well looked after in the equine hospital in England and he went for a long break after he came home. He is back cantering with me now and looks great. We haven’t made a plan for him yet, but I’m delighted to have him back and for him to be looking as well as he is.

Video Form
26 Feb 2017:
19 Feb 2017:
14 Jan 2017:
31 Dec 2016:
10 Dec 2016:

Grey Waters (IRE)

  • 3-y-o; grey filly
  • Breeding: Mastercraftsman - Pelican Waters (Key Of Luck)
  • Trained by: Joseph P O'Brien
  • Last Race: Kempton, 7 Nov 2017 19:45
  • Result: Won/14, slowly into stride, soon chasing leaders, lost a few places 10f out, headway on outside over 3f out, led over 2f out, clear inside final furlong, stayed on
  • View full form
Form Profile:

Rated 61 on the Flat, she has won two of her three starts in juvenile hurdles.

Trainer Says:

She has done very well to win twice over hurdles and she ran a nice race back on the Flat at Dundalk last time. She’ll either have another run on the Flat back on turf or she could go straight to the winners-of-two juvenile hurdle at Down Royal on November 4th.

Video Form
29 Sep 2017:
10 Sep 2017:
25 Aug 2017:
7 Aug 2017:
18 Jul 2017:

Housesofparliament (IRE)

Form Profile:

A 133-rated hurdler, he won a novice hurdle at the Galway Festival and ran well in Grade 3 novice company at Tipperary in October.

Trainer Says:

He ran very well on soft ground in a Grade 3 novice hurdle at Tipperary last time. He has a few options between conditions races and handicaps in the next six weeks, so we won’t be in a rush to make plans for him. In an ideal world he’d get less testing ground than he got at Tipperary, but that’s the time of year we are in.

Video Form
4 Nov 2017:
1 Oct 2017:
1 Aug 2017:
12 Feb 2017:
27 Dec 2016:

Ivanovich Gorbatov (IRE)

Form Profile:

A 150-rated hurdler, he won the Triumph Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in 2016 and he acquitted himself quite well in open Grade 1 company last time.

Trainer Says:

He’s in very good form and looks brilliant. He’s about a month away from a run and he might mix it up between handicaps and conditions hurdles.

Video Form
29 Jan 2017:
29 Dec 2016:
4 Dec 2016:
20 Nov 2016:
6 Nov 2016:

Katnap (FR)

Form Profile:

A 133-rated chaser, he won a handicap chase at Leopardstown in January prior to finishing second in the Topham Chase at Aintree in April.

Trainer Says:

He has arrived in America to run in the American Grand National at Far Hills on October 21st. Conditions should suit him out there and it’s worth $400,000. If you aren’t in, you can’t win!

Video Form
23 Sep 2017:
17 Mar 2017:
29 Jan 2017:
29 Dec 2016:
30 Apr 2016:

Landofhopeandglory

Form Profile:

A 144-rated hurdler, he has made a successful transition to chasing, winning two of his four starts over the larger obstacles including a Grade 3 novice chase at Roscommon in September.

Trainer Says:

He has been progressing nicely over fences and his jumping is getting better with experience. We have him entered in the Buck House Novice Chase at Punchestown on Thursday and I’d say he’ll keep going through the winter.

Video Form
25 Sep 2017:
3 Aug 2017:
26 Jun 2017:
12 Jun 2017:
29 Apr 2017:

Le Richebourg (FR)

Form Profile:

Unbeaten in three starts over hurdles, most recently winning a novice contest at the Galway Festival.

Trainer Says:

We think a lot of him and has the potential to be a very good horse. We gave him a bit of a freshen up after he won at the Galway Festival and the Royal Bond Novice Hurdle at Fairyhouse on December 3rd is his target. He could well have a run between now and then, possibly in the For Auction Novice Hurdle at Navan on November 12th, but that decision will be taken a bit closer to the time. He could step up in trip, but we’re happy with him at two miles for the time being. Soft ground should be fine for him.

Video Form
31 Jul 2017:
20 Jul 2017:
14 May 2017:
29 Jan 2017:
8 Jan 2017:

Mortal

Form Profile:

Made an impressive winning debut in a bumper at Limerick in March.

Trainer Says:

He’s back in full work and is about three weeks away from a run. He’ll go straight over hurdles and he is one that shouldn’t have any problem going two-and-a-half miles in due course.

Video Form
11 Nov 2017:
30 Mar 2017:

Outspoken

Form Profile:

A 138-rated hurdler, he finished second in a Grade 2 novice hurdle last season.

Trainer Says:

He’s about a month away from a run and he is likely to stay over hurdles this season. He’ll probably be one for conditions and Graded races.

Video Form
28 Apr 2017:
2 Apr 2017:
12 Mar 2017:
11 Feb 2017:
26 Dec 2016:

Persistent

  • 4-y-o; bay gelding
  • Breeding: Montjeu - Splendid (Mujtahid)
  • Trained by: Joseph P O'Brien
  • Last Race: Galway, 30 Oct 2017 16:05
  • Result: 2/14, towards rear, 10th after 7th, improved to 5th after 2 out, soon niggled along, headway to 2nd at last, ridden and kept on run-in, not match winner
  • View full form
Form Profile:

A 123-rated hurdler, he has won three of his five starts in handicap hurdles and improved 21lb.

Trainer Says:

He won his last two in good style and he is progressing nicely. I’m sure he’ll back up in trip at some stage, but hopefully he’ll just keep improving as he is for another while. It’s hard to say what has brought about the improvement as we haven’t changed much with him, so it’s probably just experience that has brought him on. Long may it continue!

Video Form
30 Oct 2017:
10 Oct 2017:
1 Oct 2017:
23 Jul 2017:
6 Jul 2017:

Shady Operator

Form Profile:

Made a winning debut in a bumper at Limerick in March.

Trainer Says:

He won a bumper last season and is just about ready to start off in maiden hurdle. He might start out over two miles, but he should get two-and-a-half miles in time.

Video Form
5 Nov 2017:
18 Oct 2017:
18 Mar 2017:

Slowmotion (FR)

  • 5-y-o; mare
  • Breeding: Soldier of Fortune - Second Emotion (Medaaly)
  • Trained by: Joseph P O'Brien
  • Last Race: Clonmel, 16 Nov 2017 14:50
  • Result: 3/10, mid-division, slight mistake 1st and reminder after next, left 5th at 8th, pushed along in 3rd after 4 out, no impression entering straight, kept on one pace
  • View full form
Form Profile:

5 b/br m Soldier Of Fortune – Second Emotion A 144-rated chaser, she has won three of her nine starts over fences including a Grade 3 mares chase at Fairyhouse in April.

Trainer Says:

She was disappointing in the Munster National, so we are going to freshen up aim her at the Listed mares chase at Clonmel on November 16th.

Video Form
16 Nov 2017:
8 Oct 2017:
13 Sep 2017:
2 Aug 2017:
28 Apr 2017:

Speak Easy

Form Profile:

The first foal out of the smart race mare For Bill, she made an impressive winning debut in a point-to-point at Kilworth in March prior to changing hands for £220,000 later that month.

Trainer Says:

He won his point-to-point for the Doyles and is just about ready to start off in a maiden hurdle. He’s a nice type of horse that should stay quite well.

The Gunner Murphy

  • 4-y-o; brown gelding
  • Breeding: Oscar - River Finn (Luso)
  • Trained by: Joseph P O'Brien
  • Last Race: Galway, 10 Oct 2017 17:35
  • Result: Won/13, tracked leaders on inner, 4th approaching halfway, led travelling smoothly 2f out, drifted left to stand's side rail straight, pressed and stayed on best closing stages
  • View full form
Form Profile:

Made a winning debut in a bumper at Galway in October.

Trainer Says:

He won his bumper very nicely and we think a lot of him. I’m not sure where his next run will be, but we won’t be going novice hurdling with him until next season for sure. He’s a lovely horse.

Video Form
10 Oct 2017:

Tigris River

Form Profile:

A 150-rated hurdler, he produced a career-best effort when winning the Galway Hurdle in July.

Trainer Says:

We freshened him up after Galway and he’s in great form. He has plenty of options, but the Greatwood Handicap Hurdle at the Cheltenham November meeting is being considered as his next start. The stiff two miles there would suit him and hopefully he can find a bit more improvement.

Video Form
3 Aug 2017:
8 Jul 2017:
10 Jun 2017:
14 May 2017:
28 Jul 2016:

Tower Bridge (IRE)

Form Profile:

Has won two of his three starts in bumpers this year.

Trainer Says:

He won his two bumpers very well and the plan is to go hurdling with him in the coming weeks. How he handles the softer ground will dictate whether we give him a break or keep going with him.

Video Form
4 Nov 2017:
8 Jul 2017:
30 May 2017:
25 Apr 2017:

Triplicate

Form Profile:

Rated 101 on the Flat, he won two of his three starts for Aidan O’Brien in 2016.

Trainer Says:

He is nearly ready to start off in a maiden hurdle. He has done plenty of schooling and seems to enjoy it. He should handle soft ground and we are looking forward to him.

Video Form
18 Nov 2017:
17 Aug 2016:
29 Jul 2016:
12 Jul 2016:

West Coast Time

Form Profile:

The winner of a bumper last season, he made a winning hurdling debut at Gowran Park in September prior to running below form in a Listed novice hurdle at Limerick on his next start.

Trainer Says:

He won his maiden hurdle well, but was a bit disappointing at Limerick last time. We won’t rush him back and will find another novice hurdle for him. I’d be hopeful that his jumping will progress with racing.

Video Form
8 Oct 2017:
29 Sep 2017:
14 Sep 2017:
11 Feb 2017:
7 Jan 2017:

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