Classic-winning jockey Joseph O’Brien has decided to focus on a new career as a racehorse trainer and will not be returning to the saddle for the Flat season.
The 22-year-old has played an important role in his father Aidan’s training operation — he has been looking after a string of around 70 horses at Owning Hill in Co. Kilkenny for the past year. He has also been training a handful of point-to-pointers and had his first winner in November.
“It’s hard enough to make a decent job of one thing never mind trying to juggle two things so I’ll be concentrating on training and won’t be riding any more,” he told the Racing Post.
The Irishman is expected to obtain his own training licence next month with plans to have runners under Rules.
The Irishman enjoyed a flourishing career in the saddle in a short period of time. He won the Derby at Epsom twice — in 2012 and 2014 — aboard Camelot and then Australia, both trained by his father.
He was also victorious in the 2,000 Guineas in 2012 riding Camelot and partnered Leading Light to win the 2013 St Leger.
Standing at 6ft — particularly tall for a jockey — Joseph faced battles with his weight throughout his riding career. Last year, he also had his first — and only — ride over jumps aboard Egyptian Warrior in a hurdle race at Limerick.