Joseph O’Brien has Downdraft Primed for Royal Ascot

Joseph O’Brien has achieved more in racing at the age of 25 that most could dream of achieving in a lifetime, yet the remarkable thing is that he is only just getting started. The rise of dual-purpose trainer Joseph O’Brien saw an Irish Derby victory and second spot in the trainers’ championship last season and here he takes the wraps off his talented team for the 2019 Flat season leading into Royal Ascot.

As a jockey, Joseph rode 30 Group 1 winners including two renewals of the Derby at Epsom before the inevitable day came where his lengthy frame made it impractical for him to make the weight required to ride on the Flat.

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

Having been granted his own licence to train in June 2016, O’Brien has already trained multiple Group 1 winners on the Flat and Grade 1 winners over jumps. In just his second full Flat season he finished second to in the Irish trainers’ championship and became the first Irish trainer other than Aidan O’Brien to train 100 domestic winners on the Flat in a calendar year since 1994.

With Group 1 winners Latrobe and Iridessa leading his string into Royal Ascot for 2019, OTI’s very own Downdraft will join them on the Friday of the carnival. Heading to the Class 2 Duke of Edinburgh Handicap, he looks set to make his mark at on the world’s biggest stage. Being the last race on the card, Downdraft will jump at 5:35pm Friday June 21 local time or 2:35am, Saturday June 22 (AEST – Melbourne).

To view the current Duke of Edinburgh field, please CLICK HERE.

We wish his connections the very best of luck!

Click on the video below to view a profile piece on Joseph and his yard at Owning Hill, near Piltown in County County Kilkenny in the south-east of Ireland. Racing Post TV visited his yard to discuss his transition from riding to training, what he hopes to achieve and how he deals with being the son of one of the greatest trainers in the history of the sport.


Article thanks to At the Races – Stable Tour.