Aidan O’Brien hoping to become the joint most successful Derby trainer of all-time
Aidan O’Brien has begun the 2019 season in blistering form, already mopping up multiple Group 1 races in Britain and Ireland; including the winners of both Guineas in Britain and the winner of the Irish 1000 Guineas.
O’Brien now has his sights firmly on Epsom, his Investec Derby hand has strengthened with almost every trial that has come and gone. He’s emerged from Lingfield, Leopardstown and Chester with five of the top eight in the market as he seeks to win the famous Classic for a seventh time.
Many expect that Aidan O’Brien will land a record-equalling seventh Derby with such a strong hand in the 2019 renewal. It will be a sensational achievement by the Ballydoyle maestro, the last trainer to win seven Derby’s was Fred Darling who trained from the 1920s-1940s.
Where it all started – Galileo (2001)
Revered and the most prominent sire of our time. Before he was the sire of champions, he was a champion himself. In 2001, Galileo landed the then young trainer’s first Derby victory at the tender age of 33.
It was at Epsom, where the 11/4 joint-favourite emerged as a great, thumping the 2000 Guineas winner and market rival Golan by three-and-a-half lengths. O’Brien had his first Derby winner and a racing legend was born.
Galileo’s breeding line became key component of Ballydoyle’s incredible success in the 21st century and specifically in the Derby as well. After High Chaparral and each Camelot won their Derbys, the next two Aidan O’Brien winners that followed were Ruler Of The World and Australia, both of which are Galileo’s offspring.
Galileo almost won another Derby as a sire in 2017, when Cliffs Of Moher was beaten by three quarters of a length by 40/1 outsider and stablemate Wings Of Eagles who swooped in late to claim the big prize. Although it wasn’t a win for Galileo, O’Brien couldn’t complain as he picked up his sixth Derby trophy.
Can O’Brien make it seven Derby victories?
O’Brien missed out last year with arch rivals Godolphin getting their hands on the trophy with Masar the victor. However, O’Brien has certainly ensured he has the best chance of the famous Classic returning to his Irish yard as he saddles over half the 15-runner field in 2019. With eight donning a selection of the famous Ballydoyle silks it looks like the famed trainer has an excellent chance of hammering home his seventh Derby winner.
At the front of the market the recently supplemented Sir Dragonet looms large following a dominant performance in the Chester Vase, elsewhere Broome and Anthony Van Dyck make up the top three and are no more than 5/1.
Following a disappointing run in the Dante, Japan slips back to 10/1 despite a Group 2 victory last year whilst Circus Maximus, Cape Of Good Hope, Norway and Sovereign remain at 16/1 or bigger.
Should O’Brien land a record-equalling seventh victory in the race it further his claim as the one of the greatest trainers of all-time.