Joe Schmidt’s Cosmic Horizon to run at Roscommon on Monday
Donnacha O’Brien takes ride on horse owned by Ireland rugby coach and keen racing fan
Ireland boss Joe Schmidt pictured at Punchestown in 2015. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho
The first of Donnacha O’Brien’s five rides at Roscommon on Monday evening will be when he dons the colours of Irish rugby’s head coach Joe Schmidt in the opener.
Schmidt is a long-time racing fan but Cosmic Horizon is his first venture into ownership.
The juvenile colt was narrowly beaten at the Galway festival by Zuenoon - a winner again since - and Cosmic Horizon gets a useful 4lbs from the two previous winners in Monday’s race.
Cosmic Horizon is certainly ridden by the most in-form jockey in the country as O’Brien’s Curragh four-timer on Saturday looks to have given him a firm grip on a first riders championship.
O’Brien is now on 81 winners for the season, 17 ahead of the reigning champion, Colin Keane.
Aidan O’Brien passed the century mark for winners in Ireland this season when his own Saturday four-timer took him to 102. His son Joseph is next in the trainer’s table with 56.
In addition to Cosmic Horizon Donnacha O’Brien has three other rides for his brother on Monday as well as Erin for his father in a fillies handicap.
Erin ran at Saturday’s Curragh meeting when last in a Group Three although less than eight lengths behind the winner I’m So Fancy.
Keane’s best chance of a reply to his rival may come in a fillies maiden aboard Ancestral.
The Juddmonte bred daughter of the 1999 1,000 Guineas winner Wince was a promising third to Park Bloom on her debut at the Curragh in July.
Sapiens is another Juddmonte hope in the apprentice maiden although High Monte looks a likely answer to this.