More Heaven for O’Brian
Aiden O’Brian took the title of champion jockey in Ireland during the 1993-1994 horse racing season and many looked forward to watching him through his career. But O’Brian had different ideas. He applied for a trainer’s license and became one of the most respected trainers in the horse racing industry. Presently, training top horses for Coolmore Stud and being head of training at Balleydoyle Stables, Aiden O’Brian once again proved his worth as a trainer with Halfway to Heaven securing the Irish 1000 Guineas, a day after Henrythenavigator took the 2000 Guineas.
At the age of thirty eight, O’Brian is considered a youngster amongst the seasoned trainers, but he has shown his remarkable abilities and skill, time and time again, as the horses under his care succeed. His horses have won locally and internationally. His successes have included the Irish 1000 Guineas four times with Classic Park in 1997, Imagine in 2001, Yesterday in 2003 and this year, with Halfway to Heaven. Henrythenavigator became his fifth winner of the Irish 2000 Guineas, previously winning with Desert King in 1997, Saffron Walden in 1999, Black Minnaloushe in 2001 and with Rock of Gibraltar in 2002. O’Brian also trained champions in other Irish races, including the Irish Derby, the Irish Oaks, Irish Champion Stakes, National Stakes (six times), Irish St. Leger and Moyglare Stud Stakes, to name a few.
Ballingarry brought home the Canadian International for him in 2002. O’Brian also enjoyed great triumphs in racing events in France, including the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in 2007 with a horse named Dylan Thomas, who also won the Prix Ganay in the same year. Aiden O’Brian has also left his mark in the United States and in Great Britain. He tasted victory twice at the Ascot Gold Cup with Yeats in 2006 and 2007, and has walked away from the Great Britain 1000 Guineas and Great Britain 2000 Guineas with victories under his belt.
His recent successes this weekend with Henrythenavigator and Halfway to Heaven beating strong competition to hold on to the winning position, have cemented O’Brian’s importance in the racing world and his horses will no doubt continue to break records and he will carry on building a reputation that will one day leave behind a legacy of achievement and magnificent training aptitude. The story of Aiden O’Brian is one of accomplishment and determination, of a love for racing and a devotion to bringing out the best in every horse that crosses his path.