Champion flat jockey Donnacha O’Brien announces retirement

O’Brien plans to follow his older brother Joseph and his father Aidan into training

Jockey Donnacha O’Brien is congratulated by his brother Joseph after Latrobe’s victory in the 2018 Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby at The Curragh. Photograph:  Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Jockey Donnacha O’Brien is congratulated by his brother Joseph after Latrobe’s victory in the 2018 Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby at The Curragh. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

 

Champion flat jockey Donnacha O’Brien has announced his retirement from race-riding and confirmed he will start training in 2020.

The 21-year-old son of champion trainer Aidan O’Brien has been leading rider in Ireland for the last two years, earning champion jockey status like his older brother Joseph.

On Sunday night O’Brien confirmed he will join his brother in the training ranks next year.

“After thinking about things for a while I have decided to concentrate on training next year. Riding has been very good to me and I owe everything to the people around me,” he said on Twitter.

“I look forward to training a small group of horses next year and will hopefully build from there,” he added.

O’Brien has reportedly been preparing horses at the Co Tipperary yard from which David Wachman used to train up to some years ago.

At nearly six feet in height, O’Brien has had to battle weight throughout his short but hugely successful riding career.

He rode 10 Group One winners including this year’s English 2,000 Guineas on Magna Grecia. Last year he also won the Guineas on Saxon Warrior and the Oaks on Forever Together.

Perhaps his most memorable success came in the 2018 Irish Derby when guiding his brother Joseph’s Latrobe to success, beating his father who had the second, third, fourth and fifth.

The majority of O’Brien’s major winners have been for the Coolmore operation, although his first Group One was on Intricately in the 2016 Moyglare.

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