Strong Aidan O’Brien links to the Epsom Derby

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When looking through the record books of the Investec Derby at Epsom, Aidan O’Brien and his family feature prominently.

Aidan O’Brien is the joint most successful trainer in the history of the race with seven wins. He has six chances on Saturday to become the outright winning-most handler in the 1m 4f race’s history.

O’Brien’s first success in the race came with Galileo in 2001 and he quickly followed up the next year with High Chaparral. The Wexford-born handler then had to wait a decade before taking his third victory; this came in 2012 with Camelot. He tasted success in the race for the two years that followed, with Ruler Of The World (2013) and Australia (2014), making him the first trainer to win the Investec Derby three times in succession. Wings Of Eagles was a big-priced outside for the Ballydoyle trainer when he won for Pádraig Beggy in 2017, while last year Anthony Van Dyck gave O’Brien his seventh race win.

The Master of Ballydoyle has also saddled the first and second in the Investec Derby, having done so most recently with Wings Of Eagles and Cliffs Of Moher in 2017. He had previously achieved the feat with High Chaparral and Hawk Wing in 2002.

Aidan O’Brien has saddled an incredible 85 runners in the Investec Derby, having run a record eight horses in the 2007 edition of the race. Despite this, his best result that year was second with Eagle. Last year, saddled seven runners with Anthony Van Dyck capturing the 240th running of the premier Classic, and this year he saddles six.

His son Joseph became the first son of a trainer, who sent out the Investec Derby winner, to be the successful jockey in 2012, partnering Camelot, trained by his father Aidan, at the age of 19. He repeated the feat in 2014 on Australia, also trained by his dad. Joseph retired from race riding, with an overall record of two Investec Derby wins from five rides in the premier Classic, and started training in 2016. Joseph had his first Investec Derby runner as a trainer with Rekindling, 16th in 2017.

Joseph’s brother and sister, Donnacha and Ana O’Brien, rode in the 2017 Investec Derby. Donnacha came home 12th on Venice Beach, while Ana finished 17th on The Anvil, with both horses trained by their father.

In 2013, seven of the first eight home, led by Ruler Of The World, were trained overseas. This feat was also achieved in 2019, where seven of the first eight home were all trained in Ireland, six of those by Aidan O’Brien, including the winner Anthony Van Dyck.

If any of the Aidan O’Brien horses win on Saturday, he will again create another piece of Epsom Derby history as the winning-most trainer in the 241-year history of the premier Classic – few would bet against the Co. Tipperary-based handler doing so.

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