Jumps Season - At The Races

Joseph O'Brien Stable Tour

    Joseph O’Brien had another landmark season in 2018/19 and here he lifts the lid on his talented young team which look set to achieve more glory.
  • Features

Joseph O’Brien has only been training in his own name since June 2016, but he has quickly established himself as a leading player both in the National Hunt and Flat spheres.

Having quickly risen to finish third in the trainers’ championship to Willie Mullins and Gordon Elliott in his first full season as a National Hunt trainer in 2017/18, last season saw him make further progress.

As well as registering career-best tallies of winners and prize money, O’Brien’s most notable milestone was perhaps his performance at the Cheltenham Festival.

Despite his leading hope Le Richebourg missing the meeting through injury and the exciting Sir Erec being fatally injured in the Triumph Hurdle, O’Brien still managed to saddle his first winners at the big meeting under his own name with Band Of Outlaws taking the Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle and Early Doors landing the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle.

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

All Horses

A Wave Of The Sea

  • 4-y-o; bay gelding
  • Breeding: Born To Sea - Je T'adore (Montjeu)
  • Owner: John P McManus
  • Last Race: Galway, 27 Jul 2020 18:45
  • Result: 9/20, soon led, pushed along and headed under 2f out, ridden over 1f out, lost place under 1f out, soon weakened
  • View full form
Form Profile:

Rated 82 on the Flat, he made a promising hurdling debut when a never-nearer second in a winners' hurdle at Listowel in September.

Trainer Says:

He made a really encouraging hurdling debut at Listowel. He should jump a bit sharper with that under his belt and hopefully he’ll be tough to beat next time. He is likely to run at Punchestown next week. He can hopefully progress into a useful juvenile hurdler.

Alighted

  • 7-y-o; bay gelding
  • Breeding: Getaway - Knocksouna Lady (Oscar)
  • Owner: Gigginstown House Stud
  • Last Race: Leopardstown, 1 Mar 2020 14:30
  • Result: 8/20, tracked leaders, slight mistake 2nd, mid-division and pushed along at 4th, ridden and dropped to 11th at last (usual 2 out), no impression
  • View full form
Form Profile:

Made a winning debut in a bumper at Leopardstown’s Christmas meeting in 2017 and made a promising hurdling debut when second in a maiden at Punchestown last November.

Trainer Says:

We haven’t had a much of a clear run at him yet, but he remains an exciting horse. He had a setback after his promising hurdling debut last season that ended his campaign, but he is back in full work now and looks in great order. He is due a bit of luck and if he can stay sound, he’ll soon start making up for lost time.

Video Form
28 Nov 2018:
28 Dec 2017:

Band Of Outlaws

  • 5-y-o; bay gelding
  • Breeding: Fast Company - Band of Colour (Spectrum)
  • Owner: John P McManus
  • Last Race: Galway, 1 Aug 2019 16:55
  • Result: 3/18, tracked leaders on inner, 3rd halfway, switched left after 2 out and headway in 2nd before last, ridden and kept on one pace run-in, no impression closing stages
  • View full form
Form Profile:

A 148-rated hurdler, he won the Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in March and went on to finish third in the Galway Hurdle.

Trainer Says:

He gave us all a day to remember when winning at the Cheltenham Festival in March. Since then, he ran very well to finish third in the Galway Hurdle and would have been suited by a stronger pace there. We gave him a little break after that and won’t be rushing him back. We’ll look to run him in high-class handicap hurdles and will let him guide us as to what level he will slot in at.

Video Form
26 Dec 2018:
9 Dec 2018:
7 Oct 2018:
15 Sep 2018:
12 Sep 2018:

Darasso (FR)

  • 7-y-o; brown gelding
  • Breeding: Konig Turf - Nassora (Assessor)
  • Owner: Mr John P McManus
  • Last Race: Cheltenham, 10 Mar 2020 15:30
  • Result: 10/17, held up towards rear, pushed along after 5th, never in contention
  • View full form
Form Profile:

A 155-rated chaser, he won a Grade 3 hurdle at Gowran Park and a Grade 2 chase at Navan last season.

Trainer Says:

He had a really interesting profile when he arrived to us last season and we weren’t really sure what he’d end up doing. As it turned out, he went and won the Red Mills Trial Hurdle at Gowran Park and then followed up in the Webster Cup over fences at Navan. He has plenty of form over longer trips too, so we still don’t really know where he’ll end up. One thing for sure is that he has plenty of talent and great versatility, so hopefully he’ll have another successful campaign this season.

Video Form
31 Dec 2018:

Dlauro (FR)

  • 7-y-o; bay gelding
  • Breeding: Lauro - Gergovie De Bussy (Bad Conduct)
  • Owner: John P McManus
  • Last Race: Punchestown, 26 Nov 2019 13:10
  • Result: 13/22, tracked leaders, 2nd at halfway, ridden after 3 out, dropped to 4th entering straight, weakened
  • View full form
Form Profile:

A winning point-to-pointer, he made an exciting start for O’Brien when winning a bumper at Punchestown by 11 lengths back in May.

Trainer Says:

Dlauro is a horse you’d have to be excited about. He had a setback not long after he arrived with us last year that held him up, but he was very impressive in his belated first start for us when winning a bumper at Punchestown by a long way back in May. The plan is to go novice hurdling with him now and I’m really happy with him at home. We are really looking forward to finding out just how good he is.

Early Doors (FR)

  • 7-y-o; bay gelding
  • Breeding: Soldier of Fortune - Ymlaen (Desert Prince)
  • Owner: John P McManus
  • Last Race: Galway, 29 Jul 2020 18:45
  • Result: Won/21, chased leaders, 4th halfway, slight mistake 6 out, 5th and slight mistake 2 out, ridden after last, stayed on to challenge early straight, led inside final furlong, kept on well under pressure close home
  • View full form
Form Profile:

A 152-rated hurdler, he won the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in March. He finished second on his chasing debut at the Galway Festival.

Trainer Says:

He gave us a day to remember when winning at the Cheltenham Festival in March. I was happy with his first run over fences at the Galway Festival and we gave him a break after that. He should be back at the races around Christmas time and will hopefully make up into a smart novice chaser.

Video Form
28 Dec 2018:
2 Dec 2018:
28 Apr 2018:
4 Feb 2018:
3 Dec 2017:

Embittered (IRE)

  • 6-y-o; bay gelding
  • Breeding: Fame And Glory - Kilbarry Classic (Classic Cliche)
  • Owner: Gigginstown House Stud
  • Last Race: Cheltenham, 13 Mar 2020 14:10
  • Result: 3/24, chased leaders, went 2nd 3 out, led next, headed after last, no impression on winner, kept on
  • View full form
Form Profile:

Made a winning debut in a bumper at Punchestown in December and ran well when third to Envoi Allen in a Grade 2 bumper at the Dublin Racing Festival and fourth in the Champion Bumper at the Punchestown Festival.

Trainer Says:

Embittered put together a strong campaign in bumpers last season and looks an exciting prospect for novice hurdles this season. He’ll probably stick to two miles for the time being. He’s one I’m very much looking forward to.

Video Form
9 Dec 2018:

Fakir D'oudairies (FR)

  • 5-y-o; bay gelding
  • Breeding: Kapgarde - Niagaria du bois (Grand Tresor)
  • Owner: John P McManus
  • Last Race: Cheltenham, 10 Mar 2020 14:10
  • Result: 2/11, prominent, led 2nd, soon headed, stayed handy, went 2nd after 3 out, shaken up and every chance when hit 2 out, 2 1/2 lengths down last, closed and threatened briefly flat, held towards finish
  • View full form
Form Profile:

A 149-rated hurdler, he has won a Grade 2 juvenile hurdle at Cheltenham in January and went on to finish second in Grade 1 company at the Aintree and Punchestown Festivals.

Trainer Says:

Fakir D’Oudairies was one of the better juvenile hurdlers around last season and was a little bit unlucky not to win in Grade 1 company. It hasn’t been decided yet if he’ll stay hurdling or go novice chasing, but he looks in great order and we’ll be excited about him whichever way he goes. He’s likely to try trips beyond two miles this season.

Front View (FR)

  • 5-y-o; grey gelding
  • Breeding: Konig Turf - Tumavue (Dom Alco)
  • Owner: Mr John P McManus
  • Last Race: Cheltenham, 13 Mar 2020 17:30
  • Result: 12/23, mistake 2nd, not always fluent after, mid-division, tracked leaders after 3 out, ridden and outpaced after next, never on terms, weakened after last
  • View full form
Form Profile:

Shaped with promise prior to winning a bumper at the Punchestown Festival.

Trainer Says:

Front View has always shown plenty of promise at home and it was great to see him win a bumper at the Punchestown Festival. He’ll go novice hurdling this season and given that he shows plenty of pace at home, I’d imagine we’ll keep him to two miles unless he suggests he wants to go further.

Gardens Of Babylon

Form Profile:

A 142-rated hurdler, he won twice over hurdles last season as well as being placed in the Spring Juvenile Hurdle at the Dublin Racing Festival and in the Triumph Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.

Trainer Says:

He put together a very solid campaign in juvenile hurdles last season, finishing in the frame in a couple of Grade 1 races. He will need to step up if he is to compete as well in open company this season, but he looks ready to go up in trip and hopefully that will help him improve. He’ll likely be campaigned in high-class handicap hurdles.

Video Form
31 Dec 2018:
16 Apr 2018:
22 Oct 2017:

Le Richebourg (FR)

  • 7-y-o; bay gelding
  • Breeding: Network - Fee Magic (Phantom Breeze)
  • Owner: John P McManus
  • Last Race: Leopardstown, 2 Feb 2019 15:45
  • Result: Won/6, raced in 5th, left in 4th from 2nd, 3rd at 5th, travelling smoothly approaching straight, challenged from before last, soon on terms and left in lead, ridden out to assert run-in, stayed on well
  • View full form
Form Profile:

A 160-rated chaser, he won four of his five starts over fences last season including two Grade 1 novice chases. An injury ruled him out of the Cheltenham Festival and the rest of the season.

Trainer Says:

We were delighted with how his novice chase campaign was going last season until he picked up the setback that cut it short. He hasn’t arrived back here from Martinstown yet, but the reports on him have been very positive all the way along, so we’ll be hoping that he can pick up where he left off when he gets back to the track.

Video Form
26 Dec 2018:
2 Dec 2018:
7 Oct 2018:
11 Sep 2018:
2 Aug 2018:

Meticulous

  • 6-y-o; bay gelding
  • Breeding: Fame And Glory - Refinement (Oscar)
  • Owner: Michael Tabor
  • Last Race: Gowran Park, 20 Jul 2020 13:30
  • Result: 3/15, raced 2nd and disputed lead at times, not jump well, disputed lead entering straight, soon pushed along, not fluent and headed 2 out, ridden and dropped to 3rd before last, moderate 3rd inside final furlong
  • View full form
Form Profile:

Made a winning debut at Killarney in July and went on to finish second to Envoi Allen in a Grade 2 bumper at the Dublin Racing Festival.

Trainer Says:

Meticulous was very good in bumpers last season and looks an exciting prospect for novice hurdles this season. He should be making his seasonal return in the near future and he looks one that will stay a bit further than two miles in due course.

Video Form
29 Dec 2018:
19 Jul 2018:

Midnight Run

  • 6-y-o; bay gelding
  • Breeding: Well Chosen - Knockamullen Girl (Alderbrook)
  • Owner: Gigginstown House Stud
  • Last Race: Naas, 5 Jan 2020 14:20
  • Result: 6/6, tracked leaders disputing 4th, ridden in moderate 5th before 3 out, soon no impression, not fluent 2 out and dropped to remote last
  • View full form
Form Profile:

A full-brother to the smart bumper performer Carefully Selected, he won bumpers at Galway and Naas in great style last season.

Trainer Says:

We were delighted with what he did in bumpers last season. We thought he might be up to competing in the Grade 1 bumpers at the backend of the season, but he picked up a little setback that finished his campaign a bit early. He looks in great shape and is one to look forward to in novice hurdles this season.

Video Form
16 Dec 2018:
9 Oct 2018:

Mortal

  • 8-y-o; bay gelding
  • Breeding: King's Theatre - Pomme Tiepy (Apple Tree)
  • Owner: Gigginstown House Stud
  • Last Race: Galway, 29 Jul 2020 18:45
  • Result: U/21, towards rear, mistake 4th, bad mistake and unseated rider 9th
  • View full form
Form Profile:

A 147-rated chaser, he won a maiden chase at Fairyhouse prior to finishing second to Delta Work in a Grade 1 novice chase at Leopardstown’s Christmas meeting.

Trainer Says:

Mortal showed himself to be a smart novice chaser last season. I don’t think we saw the very best of him, so hopefully he can show some improvement this season. He looks one to target at high-class handicap chases.

Video Form
29 Dec 2018:
1 Dec 2018:
17 Apr 2018:
20 Jan 2018:
29 Dec 2017:

Rhinestone

  • 7-y-o; bay gelding
  • Breeding: Montjeu - Apticanti (Aptitude)
  • Owner: John P McManus
  • Last Race: Gowran Park, 23 Jan 2020 15:35
  • Result: 5/9, towards rear, some progress after 4 out, pushed along in moderate 6th when left 5th 3 out, kept on one pace, never a factor
  • View full form
Form Profile:

A 144-rated hurdler, he won a maiden hurdle at Naas in November and went on to finish a close second to Commander Of Fleet in a Grade 1 novice hurdle at the Dublin Racing Festival.

Trainer Says:

He progressed well in novice hurdles last season, but had his season cut a little bit short as he picked up an injury at the Cheltenham Festival. He has the option of staying over hurdles or going novice chasing this season and we haven’t made a decision on that. Whichever way he goes he should be well capable of paying his way.

Video Form
16 Dec 2018:
10 Nov 2018:
3 Feb 2018:
17 Dec 2017:
18 Nov 2017:

Scarlet And Dove

  • 6-y-o; bay mare
  • Breeding: Jeremy - Dark Mimosa (Bahri)
  • Owner: Gigginstown House Stud
  • Last Race: Limerick, 15 Mar 2020 14:10
  • Result: 4/9, prominent, 2nd halfway, pushed along early straight and no impression in 4th 2 out where slight mistake, soon no extra
  • View full form
Form Profile:

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

Trainer Says:

She looked a really smart prospect when running out the impressive winner of a bumper at Limerick in November, but she pulled a muscle that day and that finished her season. I’m really happy with how she is looking and going at home. She looks an exciting novice hurdle prospect and we are looking forward to getting her out.

Video Form
30 Nov 2018:

Sempo (IRE)

  • 6-y-o; bay gelding
  • Breeding: Oscar - Miss Cozzene (Solid Illusion)
  • Owner: Martin O'Sullivan
  • Last Race: Cheltenham, 13 Mar 2020 14:50
  • Result: 6/19, mid-division, driven to chase leaders after 2 out, ridden and not pace to challenge between last 2, weakened last
  • View full form
Form Profile:

Made it third-time lucky when winning a bumper at Thurles by 15 lengths in February and went on to finish sixth in the Champion Bumper at the Cheltenham Festival.

Trainer Says:

He showed a smart level of form in bumpers last season and has always looked one that would make a better hurdler. He seems good and forward, so he’ll start off in a maiden hurdle in the near future. He looks like one that will stay further than two miles.

Video Form
26 Dec 2018:
11 Sep 2018:

Shady Operator

  • 7-y-o; bay gelding
  • Breeding: Court Cave - Native Artist (Be My Native)
  • Owner: Mr John P McManus
  • Last Race: Naas, 8 Mar 2020 15:15
  • Result: 9/14, tracked leaders, pecked on landing at 2nd, 4th 3 out, soon ridden and weakened
  • View full form
Form Profile:

A 135-rated chaser, he won a maiden chase at Punchestown in December prior to running creditably in a Grade 3 novice chase at Naas in January.

Trainer Says:

He made a solid start over fences last season, but I don’t think we saw the very best of him. He is rated high enough to contest high-class handicap chases this season and I’d be hopeful he can find enough improvement to be competitive in them.

Video Form
31 Dec 2018:
8 Dec 2018:
27 Apr 2018:
25 Nov 2017:
5 Nov 2017:

Smoking Gun (IRE)

  • 7-y-o; bay gelding
  • Breeding: Gold Well - The Wounded Cook (Muroto)
  • Owner: Gigginstown House Stud
  • Last Race: Cheltenham, 10 Mar 2020 17:30
  • Result: 5/14, in touch, dropped to mid-division 10th, headway 17th (water), driven and unable to go with leaders before 3 out, soon ridden and weakened
  • View full form
Form Profile:

A 136-rated hurdler, he won four of his six starts over hurdles last season.

Trainer Says:

He had a very good campaign last season, winning four races over hurdles. He has always looked to be a chaser in the making and we’re looking forward to seeing if he can prove to be even better over fences this season. He stays very well.

Video Form
27 Dec 2018:
6 Dec 2018:
25 Feb 2018:
28 Jan 2018:
26 Dec 2017:

Speak Easy (GB)

  • 7-y-o; bay gelding
  • Breeding: Beneficial - For Bill (Presenting)
  • Owner: John P McManus
  • Last Race: Navan, 16 Feb 2020 16:00
  • Result: 3/6, waited with, soon in rear, not fluent 3rd and 9th, pushed along to close and effort straight, not match front pair approaching last, one pace
  • View full form
Form Profile:

A 137-rated hurdler, he won a maiden hurdle in December 2017 prior to finishing second in a valuable novices’ handicap hurdle at the Fairyhouse Easter Festival. He missed all of last season due to injury.

Trainer Says:

He looked a really nice prospect back in 2017/18, but he missed all of last season through injury. He’s back now and is looking really well. He is bred to be chaser and has always looked like one in the making, so we really can’t wait to see what he can do over them this season.

Video Form
17 Apr 2018:
25 Feb 2018:
7 Jan 2018:
9 Dec 2017:

Tower Bridge

  • 7-y-o; bay gelding
  • Breeding: High Chaparral - Walkamia (Linamix)
  • Owner: John P McManus
  • Last Race: Leopardstown, 27 Dec 2019 14:55
  • Result: PU/27, mid-division, mistake 8th, mistake 11th, soon towards rear, pulled up before 2 out
  • View full form
Form Profile:

A 143-rated hurdler, he ran well without winning in four starts over fences last season, including when second in the Close Brothers Novices’ Handicap Chase at the Cheltenham Festival.

Trainer Says:

He won a Grade 1 novice hurdle in 2017/18 and while he failed to win over fences last season, he did show some smart form over them. That he is still a maiden over fences gives us plenty of options with him, but staying handicap chases are likely to be where he ends up.

Video Form
28 Dec 2018:
17 Nov 2018:
3 Feb 2018:
28 Dec 2017:
4 Nov 2017:

Triplicate

  • 7-y-o; bay gelding
  • Breeding: Galileo - Devoted To You (Danehill Dancer)
  • Owner: John P McManus
  • Last Race: Gowran Park, 7 Mar 2020 16:00
  • Result: 5/10, soon prominent, 2nd from 4th, not match leaders and bad mistake 3 out, no impression after
  • View full form
Form Profile:

A 141-rated hurdler, he won twice over hurdles last season and was also second in the Royal Bond Novice Hurdle at Fairyhouse.

Trainer Says:

He showed plenty of promise in novice hurdles last season before his campaign was ended a bit prematurely by a setback. He is in full work now and looks very well. We haven’t decided if he’ll stay over hurdles or go novice chasing this season, but he’s a horse I like a lot and I’m very much looking forward to him whichever way he goes.

Video Form
27 Dec 2018:
2 Dec 2018:
7 Oct 2018:
15 Sep 2018:
4 Aug 2018:

Uhtred

  • 5-y-o; bay gelding
  • Breeding: Fame And Glory - Ingred Hans
  • Owner: Gigginstown House Stud
  • Last Race: Navan, 15 Dec 2019 15:10
  • Result: Won/7, 4th early, soon raced in 5th, closed up approaching straight, led over 2f out, quickly asserted, stayed on well
  • View full form
Form Profile:

Made a winning debut in a valuable sales bumper at the Fairyhouse Easter Festival.

Trainer Says:

Uhtred is an exciting type of horse. He won his only start in a valuable bumper at Fairyhouse in April and did well to win, as he met with plenty of trouble in running. He is going novice hurdling this season and his schooling has been notably good so far, so hopefully that translates to the track.

Us And Them

  • 7-y-o; bay gelding
  • Breeding: Stowaway - Manorville (Flemensfirth)
  • Owner: Burnham Plastering & Dry Lining Limited
  • Last Race: Galway, 29 Jul 2020 18:45
  • Result: 13/21, mid-division, 7th 4 out, pecked next, no extra 2 out, weakened
  • View full form
Form Profile:

A 151-rated chaser, he won one of his eight starts over fences last season and finished second in four Grade 1 novice chases.

Trainer Says:

He was a real legend for the yard in novice chases last season. While he didn’t quite win a Grade 1, he finished second in four of them and was a model of consistency. We had been looking forward to stepping him up in trip this season, so we were happy with his first try at two-and-a-half miles over fences at Gowran Park last weekend. He was probably just about held in second when a mistake at the last removed any doubt. He should improve from that and we are looking forward to another productive season with him.

Video Form
26 Dec 2018:
8 Dec 2018:
11 Nov 2018:
29 Oct 2018:
28 Dec 2017:

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