Joint trainers’ licences could be up and running in Ireland shortly

A few high-profile father-and-son teams in the UK have switched to joint licences

The first of Ireland’s officially licensed training partnerships could be in place by next month.

A model of joint trainers’ licences first introduced in Australia has been mirrored in Britain since last year.

In March Britain's champion trainer John Gosden became the highest-profile figure yet to switch to a joint licence, with his son Thady.

Last year Simon and Ed Crisford were the first to hold a joint licence in Britain. Another father-son combination of Oliver and Paul Cole followed shortly afterwards.


Ireland’s racing authorities have been slower to follow a system that potentially allows different trainers to pool resources.

“The Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board have changed the rules to allow training partnerships. They could effectively be introduced as early as next month,” an IHRB spokesman confirmed on Tuesday.

Among the first likely to avail of the opportunity is the Curragh-based father-son team of Eddie and Patrick Harty.

“It won’t change an awful lot of the day-to-day, but my name will be out there and there will be more responsibility,” Patrick Harty told Horse Racing Ireland.

“Even though I’m making decisions, and a major part of the business as assistant, it’s not my name on the licence. The buck doesn’t stop with me.

“As soon as my name is on the licence I’ll be every bit as accountable as Dad will,” added the 29-year-old.


Joseph O’Brien’s spectacular success as a trainer since taking out his own licence five years ago could get added to with a classic birthday celebration in the Tattersalls Irish 1,000 Guineas on Sunday.

The former champion jockey turns 28 that day and bookmakers reckon he has a favourite’s chance to win the fillies’ classic at the Curragh with Pretty Gorgeous.

Last year's Fillies' Mile winner had to miss Newmarket due to an unsatisfactory scope but is a general 5-2 market leader to make a belated successful first start of the campaign.

A total of 18 fillies remain in the Guineas after Tuesday’s forfeit stage, with 10of them coming from Aidan O’Brien and his sons, Joseph and Donnacha.

The Ballydoyle trainer’s four-strong team is headed by Joan Of Arc, while family interest will also include last year’s Moyglare Stud Stakes heroine, Shale.

Just The Judge was the last British-trained winner of the 1,000 Guineas at the Curragh, and cross-channel hopes this time will rest with Fev Rover.

Trained by Irishman Richard Fahey, Fev Rover ran an admirable third to Mother Earth in the English Guineas at the start of the month.

Aidan O’Brien has a record nine wins in the 1,000 Guineas and has a similar haul in Sunday’s other Group 1 prize, the Tattersalls Gold Cup.

He has seven possible contenders for the older-horse prize this time, including the superstar filly Love as well as last year’s surprise Epsom Derby hero Serpentine.

Also figuring in the all-domestic entry is the dual-Irish Leger winner Search For A Song.

Brian O'Connor

Brian O'Connor

Brian O'Connor is the racing correspondent of The Irish Times. He also writes the Tipping Point column