Jumps Season - At The Races

Tracker

Joseph O'Brien Stable Tour

    It’s quality over quantity for Joseph O’Brien and his most select jumpers can keep him at the top table in 2020/21.
  • Features

Joseph O’Brien can still be considered a relative newcomer to the training game having only taken out his licence in June 2016, but since then he has quickly accumulated a list of big-race winners under both codes that would be the envy of many veteran trainers. 

O’Brien made an immediate splash under National Hunt rules, finishing third in the trainers’ championship to Willie Mullins and Gordon Elliott in his first full season with a license. Grade 1 winners soon followed with Edwulf’s memorable victory in the Irish Gold Cup in 2018 representing his most notable domestic triumph over jumps.

He has also enjoyed success at the Cheltenham Festival, saddling Band Of Outlaws to win the Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle and Early Doors winning the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle in 2019.

While O’Brien has made a conscious decision to reduce the number of National Hunt horses he has in training for the upcoming season, he has retained all of his most exciting prospects and still represents a notable power at the highest level of the sport.

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

All Horses

A Wave Of The Sea

  • 5-y-o; bay gelding
  • Breeding: Born To Sea - Je T'adore (Montjeu)
  • Owner: John P McManus
  • Last Race: Punchestown, 30 Apr 2021 16:15
  • Result: PU/15, towards rear on outer, slight mistake 4th, pushed along 8th, no impression, pulled up before 2 out
  • View full form
Form Profile:

A 138-rated hurdler, he made it second-time lucky over fences when winning a maiden chase at Kilbeggan in September.

Trainer Says:

He won his maiden chase in good style and will go up in class now. He will receive a good weight allowance off older horses for the next few months, so hopefully he can make use of that. Mid-range trips might well suit him best.

Anything Will Do

  • 6-y-o; bay gelding
  • Breeding: Westerner - Aylesbury Park (Old Vic)
  • Owner: Annus Mirabilis Syndicate
  • Last Race: Killarney, 10 May 2021 18:10
  • Result: 4/14, in touch, progress to 2nd after 8th, on terms 3 out where bad mistake, soon lost place, no impression on leaders in 3rd before last, kept on same pace, lost 3rd on line
  • View full form
Form Profile:

A 133-rated hurdler, he made a winning chasing debut at Killarney in August prior to finishing second in a novice chase at the Listowel Harvest Festival.

Trainer Says:

Our options were a bit limited with him after he won his maiden chase and he just found the shorter trip too sharp for him at Listowel last time. We’ll have much more options for him as the season begins in earnest and we’ll campaign him in good novice chases going forward.

Assemble

  • 7-y-o; bay gelding
  • Breeding: Getaway - Annaghbrack (Rudimentary)
  • Owner: Gigginstown House Stud
  • Last Race: Cheltenham, 18 Mar 2021 15:40
  • Result: 5/21, chased leaders on outside when mistake 1st, soon mid-division, mistake 13th, closed 3 out, jumped left 2 out and last, held but kept on
  • View full form
Form Profile:

A 141-rated hurdler, he won one of his three starts over hurdles last season.

Trainer Says:

He was a smart novice hurdler last season and the plan is to go chasing with him. He’s a big horse that always looked the type to do better over fences and his schooling over them has been very good so far. Like most of our winter horses, I’d expect him to be ready to start off in late-October or early-November.

Video Form
28 Dec 2018:
2 Dec 2018:

Band Of Outlaws

  • 6-y-o; bay gelding
  • Breeding: Fast Company - Band of Colour (Spectrum)
  • Owner: John P McManus
  • Last Race: Naas, 16 May 2021 14:40
  • Result: 3/15, waited with, soon towards rear, disputed 12th approaching straight, soon headway and slightly impeded, chased leaders and kept on without matching front pair inside final furlong
  • View full form
Form Profile:

A 149-rated hurdler, he won the Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival and was third in the Galway Hurdle in 2019. He missed the rest of last season through injury after that latter race.

Trainer Says:

He picked up an injury last winter and hasn’t come back to us yet.

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

Castra Vetera

  • 6-y-o; bay mare
  • Breeding: Jeremy - Mystic Cherry (Alderbrook)
  • Owner: Gigginstown House Stud
  • Last Race: Fairyhouse, 4 Apr 2021 15:20
  • Result: 7/12, mid-division, slight mistake 2nd, 5th halfway, pushed along when slightly hampered after 3 out, ridden and no extra before next
  • View full form
Form Profile:

Won two of her three starts in bumpers last season.

Trainer Says:

She showed a good level of form in bumpers last season and the plan is to go novice hurdling with her. The hope would be that she can improve into a Graded performer over hurdles. We’ll start her off at two miles and will step her up if that’s what it looks like she wants.

Cerberus (GB)

  • 5-y-o; chestnut gelding
  • Breeding: Iffraaj - Miss You Too (Montjeu)
  • Owner: John P McManus
  • Last Race: Kilbeggan, 14 Jun 2021 19:10
  • Result: 7/10, rear of mid-division, closer in 6th on outer and mistake 3 out, pushed along in 6th when pecked on landing 2 out, soon no impression
  • View full form
Form Profile:

A 138-rated hurdler, he has won two of his seven starts over hurdles including a Grade 3 juvenile hurdle at Fairyhouse in December.

Trainer Says:

We had hoped to run him in the Galway Hurdle, but we didn’t get him there. He ran a solid race in the Lartigue Hurdle at Listowel on what was bad ground. He’s off the right sort of rating to run in valuable handicap hurdles and hopefully he can hit the mark in one of them. We won’t be in a rush to step him up from two miles.

Video Form
27 Dec 2019:

Darasso (FR)

  • 8-y-o; brown gelding
  • Breeding: Konig Turf - Nassora (Assessor)
  • Owner: John P McManus
  • Last Race: Listowel, 7 Jun 2021 16:05
  • Result: Won/9, tracked leaders, 3rd halfway, 2nd 5 out and led 3 out, asserted after 2 out and 5 lengths clear when slight mistake last, kept on well
  • View full form
Form Profile:

A 155-rated chaser and 152-rated hurdler, he won a Grade 3 hurdle at Gowran Park and a Grade 2 chase at Navan in 2018/19.

Trainer Says:

He’s a hardy horse that is very versatile and loves soft ground. We have loads of options for him both over hurdles and fences as well as over a variety of trips, so we’ll try to capitalise on that versatility by picking the right spots for him and trying to win a couple of Graded races along the way.

Video Form
31 Dec 2018:

Early Doors (FR)

  • 8-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 148-rated chaser, he won the Galway Plate in July.

Trainer Says:

Unfortunately, he picked up an injury when winning the Galway Plate and is unlikely to run again this season.

Video Form
28 Dec 2018:
2 Dec 2018:

Embittered

  • 7-y-o; bay gelding
  • Breeding: Fame And Glory - Kilbarry Classic (Classic Cliche)
  • Owner: Gigginstown House Stud
  • Last Race: Punchestown, 28 Apr 2021 19:00
  • Result: 15/24, always towards rear, ridden and no extra before 4 out
  • View full form
Form Profile:

A 148-rated hurdler, he won a maiden hurdle at Naas in November and went on to finish third in the County Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.

Trainer Says:

He’s a really nice horse that had a good novice hurdle campaign last season. We are looking forward to going novice chasing with him and he has all the attributes to be smart over fences. He’ll start off over two miles and we’ll evaluate him as he goes.

Video Form
9 Dec 2018:

Entoucas (FR)

  • 7-y-o; bay gelding
  • Breeding: Network - Mousse Des Bois (Chef De Clan)
  • Owner: John P McManus
  • Last Race: Punchestown, 29 Apr 2021 16:15
  • Result: 3/19, chased leaders, slightly impeded 5th, slight mistake 4 out, not match leaders and slight mistake 3 out, some headway and slight mistake 2 out, kept on without matching front pair run-in
  • View full form
Form Profile:

A 135-rated hurdler, he won a maiden hurdle at Naas in February.

Trainer Says:

We haven’t discussed a plan for him, but he has the option of staying hurdling or going over fences. We think that he’s a horse we haven’t seen the best of yet and hopefully he will prove that this season. He’s not short of pace and it wouldn’t surprise if we ended up keeping him around two miles.

Video Form
26 Dec 2018:
24 Nov 2018:

Eric Bloodaxe

  • 6-y-o; bay gelding
  • Breeding: Saint Des Saints - Diorissima (Sholokhov)
  • Owner: Gigginstown House Stud
  • Last Race: Punchestown, 28 Apr 2021 18:30
  • Result: 4/8, chased leaders, moderate 4th halfway, closer 6f out, challenged 4f out, ridden in 5th 3f out, no impression over 2f out, kept on one pace
  • View full form
Form Profile:

Won two of his three starts in bumpers last season including a winners’ race at Leopardstown’s Christmas meeting.

Trainer Says:

He was an exciting horse in bumpers last season, but unfortunately he picked up a little injury when disappointing in his last run that ended up keeping him off the track for the rest of the season. He’ll go novice hurdling this season and you’d have to be excited about him. We’ll start him off at two miles and play it by ear from there.

Fakir (FR)

  • 6-y-o; bay gelding
  • Breeding: Day Flight - Lazary (Bobinski)
  • Owner: Gigginstown House Stud
  • Last Race: Fairyhouse, 8 Feb 2021 12:50
  • Result: 2/9, tracked leaders, jumped left 5th, 6th halfway, slight mistakes 10th and 3 out, 5th next, soon pushed along and 3rd at last, ridden and kept on well run-in
  • View full form
Form Profile:

A 131-rated hurdler, he won two of his final three starts over hurdles last season.

Trainer Says:

He’s a likeable horse that stays well. He likes soft ground and he is likely to go chasing. He is the type that should do better over fences.

Video Form
18 Jan 2020:
19 Feb 2019:
6 Dec 2018:

Fakir D'oudairies (FR)

  • 6-y-o; bay gelding
  • Breeding: Kapgarde - Niagaria du bois (Grand Tresor)
  • Owner: John P McManus
  • Last Race: Punchestown, 28 Apr 2021 17:55
  • Result: 3/6, chased leaders, 4th halfway, closer in 3rd 7 out, 2nd 5 out, ridden in 3rd before 3 out, no impression entering straight, kept on one pace
  • View full form
Form Profile:

A 159-rated chaser, he has won two of his six starts over fences including the Drinmore Novice Chase at Fairyhouse in December and finished second in the Arkle Challenge Trophy at the Cheltenham Festival.

Trainer Says:

He had an excellent novice chase campaign last season and was maybe a bit unfortunate not to win more than one Grade 1. He has settled back into his work very well. The thought is to step him up in trip this season. Mid-range trips are likely to be the focus, but I wouldn’t rule out trying three miles with him at some stage.

Fire Attack

  • 6-y-o; bay gelding
  • Breeding: Westerner - Seesea (Dr Massini)
  • Owner: Gigginstown House Stud
  • Last Race: Punchestown, 30 Apr 2021 19:05
  • Result: 5/15, rear of mid-division, headway from 5th, ridden in 4th entering straight, no impression
  • View full form
Form Profile:

Made a winning debut in a bumper at Limerick’s Christmas meeting and then finishing a head second in a winners’ bumper at Naas in February.

Trainer Says:

He was a good bumper horse last season and we are looking forward to seeing him over hurdles this season. He likes soft ground, but he isn’t slow, and I don’t think we’ll be going further than two miles with him for a while.

Forged In Fire

  • 6-y-o; bay gelding
  • Breeding: Presenting - Green Star (Green Tune)
  • Owner: Gigginstown House Stud
  • Last Race: Wexford, 2 Jun 2021 14:10
  • Result: 7/11, chased leaders, slight mistake 2nd, 4th halfway, slight mistake 5 out, ridden and no extra before straight, 6th and mistake 2 out, kept on one pace
  • View full form
Form Profile:

Made a winning debut in a bumper in at Leopardstown’s Christmas meeting, beating the subsequent Champion Bumper winner Ferny Hollow.

Trainer Says:

He won his only start in a bumper last season and the form has obviously worked out very well. You’d have to be excited about him based on that. He’ll go straight over hurdles and he looks as though he’ll stay well.

Front View (FR)

  • 6-y-o; gelding
  • Breeding: Konig Turf - Tumavue (Dom Alco)
  • Owner: Mr John P McManus
  • Last Race: Leopardstown, 6 Feb 2021 15:50
  • Result: 12/22, tracked leaders on outer, slight mistake 3 out, pushed along and no impression after next, no extra in straight
  • View full form
Form Profile:

A 135-rated hurdler, he won a maiden hurdle at Cork in November.

Trainer Says:

He’s a lovely horse that we might not have seen the best of yet. Inexperience just caught him out in his last couple of starts last season. We haven’t made a final decision as to whether he will stay hurdling or go chasing yet, but whatever he does I’d be hopeful he will show improvement and pay his way.

Le Richebourg (FR)

  • 8-y-o; bay gelding
  • Breeding: Network - Fee Magic (Phantom Breeze)
  • Owner: Mr John P McManus
  • Last Race: Leopardstown, 27 Dec 2020 13:10
  • Result: 6/6, held up towards rear, ridden in 5th 2 out, soon no extra and weakened, tailed off
  • View full form
Form Profile:

A 160-rated chaser, he looked one of the most exciting novice chasers of 2018/19 when winning the Racing Post Novice Chase and the Irish Arkle at Leopardstown only for an injury to rule him out of the Cheltenham Festival. He missed all of last season due to that same injury.

Trainer Says:

He’s back and looks in great shape. We were on track to run him at the backend of last season, but the campaign ending early put a stop to that. He’s obviously missed a lot of time, but we’re very happy with him and he’ll be ready to start back in a few weeks. We’ll most likely keep him to around two miles. He looked very exciting when we last saw him, so hopefully he can still be competitive at the highest level.

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

Sempo

  • 7-y-o; bay gelding
  • Breeding: Oscar - Miss Cozzene (Solid Illusion)
  • Owner: Martin O'Sullivan
  • Last Race: Fairyhouse, 5 Apr 2021 17:00
  • Result: 5/28, mid-division, some headway in 7th 6 out, pushed along early straight and 6th 2 out, soon ridden, 5th and mistake last, no extra run-in
  • View full form
Form Profile:

Made it third-time lucky over hurdles when winning a maiden at Thurles in February and wasn’t beaten far in the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.

Trainer Says:

He’s in good shape and more than likely he’ll go chasing this season. He prefers a decent surface, so we’ll try to keep him on that sort of ground if we can at all. I think there is more to come from him.

Video Form
26 Dec 2018:
11 Sep 2018:

Top Moon (FR)

  • 6-y-o; bay gelding
  • Breeding: Spanish Moon - Courtaline (Martaline)
  • Owner: John P McManus
  • Last Race: Punchestown, 29 Apr 2021 16:15
  • Result: 7/19, soon rear of mid-division, no impression before 7th, some headway from before 3 out, kept on without threatening
  • View full form
Form Profile:

A 142-rated hurdler, he has won two of his eight starts over hurdles.

Trainer Says:

We haven’t decided if he’s going chasing or staying hurdling yet. He’s a solid, tough horse and I think he’ll pay his way whatever discipline he ends up in.

Uhtred

  • 6-y-o; bay gelding
  • Breeding: Fame And Glory - Ingred Hans (Beneficial)
  • Owner: Gigginstown House Stud
  • Last Race: Punchestown, 27 Apr 2021 16:15
  • Result: 4/5, chased leaders, 3rd halfway, closer after 4 out and not fluent next, pushed along entering straight and no impression in 4th approaching last, no extra
  • View full form
Form Profile:

Made a winning debut in a bumper at Fairyhouse in April 2019 and won a Listed bumper at Navan in December. In between those wins he made a promising hurdling debut at Cork

Trainer Says:

He looked an exciting horse in bumpers last season and will go back over hurdles this season. We’ll start him off at two miles and feel our way with him from there. He’s one we are looking forward to.

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