Joseph O'Brien is one of Betfair's latest additions to our strong team of racing ambassadors. A Classic-winning jockey, O'Brien has turned his hand to training and has already assembled a powerful team of Flat and National Hunt horses, making his weekly previews a must read for all punters...
Despite the famous racing surname Joseph O'Brien wasn't born into a family of hugely successful namesakes. No relation to the legendary Irish trainer Vincent O'Brien, Joseph was born in 1993, the same year that his father, Aidan, was starting his own training career.
Aidan O'Brien quickly became a leading Irish trainer, initially in the National Hunt field before having huge success as a trainer of some of the very best Flat horses in the world.
His father's success had a big impact on Joseph, who himself regularly rode out at the famous Ballydoyle yard while being a successful pony rider. As a 16-year-old he won a bronze medal at the European Pony Championships before becoming an apprentice jockey soon after.
O'Brien enjoyed immediate success, sharing the Irish Apprentice Champion Jockey title in 2010, and just two years later he won the English Derby on Camelot, meaning himself and Aidan became the first father-son/trainer-jockey winning combination of the famous Classic.
But because of his tall frame, thus implicating on his racing weight, time as a jockey was always going to be against Joseph and at the age of 22 he announced his retirement from the saddle having ridden no fewer than 30 Group 1 winners and becoming Champion Irish Jockey on two occasions (2012 and 2013).
He was destined to follow in his father's footsteps as a trainer however and although under the official licence of Aidan O'Brien, Joseph was given all the credit for Ivanovich Gorbatov's success in the 2016 Triumph Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.
Operating from the family farm in Owning, County Kildare, Joseph took out his own licence in June 2016 and it wasn't long before he was making a huge impact in both codes, winning Group 1 races on the Flat and Graded races over jumps.
At the time, Rekindling was his biggest success as a trainer when winning the 'race that stops a nation', the famous Melbourne Cup in November 2017. The following summer Joseph enjoyed his greatest success to date when he saddled Latrobe to win the Irish Derby at the Curragh.
Further success followed with his star filly Iridessa landing the Group 1 Fillies' Mile at Newmarket in late 2018 before the same horse won two Group 1 races in his native Ireland in the summer of 2019.
Incredibly, these prestigious Flat racing wins came just months after Joseph had enjoyed a highly successful National Hunt season that saw him land a number of big races, perhaps most notably with Le Richebourg who won the Grade 1 Arkle Novice Chase.
In simple terms, Joseph O'Brien has achieved more as a fresh-faced 26-year-old than most jockeys/trainers do in a whole career, and with his yard gaining in numbers and quality season-by-season it's not difficult to envisage him following truly in his father's footsteps by becoming one of the very best trainers of his generation.
That's why then that Joseph is an ideal Betfair Ambassador and that his weekly runners preview, as well as his thoughts ahead of all the major racing festivals, will be unmissable reads for any punter or racing enthusiast.