where the horse is always the hero
Article Item
Posted 2018-07-05 13:24:40  

As they entered the final furlong of the 2018 Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby, legendary commentator Des Scahill proclaimed, “It’s going to be an O’Brien winner, but who will win?!” The answer was not, as it had been 12 times before, Aidan O’Brien, but his sons Joseph and Donnacha, who paired up with LATROBE (IRE) to win each of them their first Classic in their current roles.

Joseph won his first Irish Derby as a jockey six years ago aboard Camelot, who is, in fact, the sire of LATROBE (IRE). The 2012 victory came by two lengths on ground described as soft to heavy, but the latest winning margin was half a length, on good to firm ground during a rare Irish heatwave. Royal Ascot runner-up Rostropovich (IRE) once again filled that role, with just a neck separating him from 2,000 Guineas hero Saxon Warrior.

Comparing triumphs, Joseph O’Brien reflected, “"I get more of a kick out of training a winner than I ever got out of riding a winner. There's so much more work involved and to win an Irish Derby, with Donnacha riding, is an unbelievable feeling." LATROBE (IRE) is the second Group 1 winner Joseph O’Brien has trained after 2017 Melbourne Cup hero Rekindling, also owned by Australian Lloyd Williams, who presumably has Cup dreams for his latest star.

LATROBE (IRE) also topped a tremendous month for breeders Grange Stud, who bred the colt under their Sweetmans Bloodstock banner, while Minch Bloodstock took the honours of Albany Stakes winner Main Edition (IRE). A half-brother to Group 3 winner Diamond Fields (IRE), LATROBE (IRE) is out of a black-type half-sister to Cheveley Park Stakes second Sunday Times, whose first foal is a Listed winner. This family includes Group 2 Hungerford Stakes winner Welsh Emperor (IRE), also twice runner-up in the Group 1 Prix de la Foret. 

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