Trainer Talk with Aidan O'Brien | Chester Racecourse

Trainer Talk with Aidan O'Brien

Any review of the racehorse trainer extraordinaire, Aidan O’Brien reveals common themes. Maestro, a phenomenon, all-conquering and world record-breaker are phrases frequently used to describe the man who has been Ireland’s champion racehorse trainer every year this century!  O’Brien targets key races at Chester Racecourse with horses that are indicating potential at this early stage of the flat season.

O’Brien explained: “We like sending horses to Chester as a preparation for the Classics. We like the track, and while the horses are always on the turn, they get a nice educational trip and we feel that it’s a good prep for horses going to Epsom.”   The O’Brien record in the MBNA Chester Vase is eight previous wins.   

The interval between the Boodles May Festival meeting and the premier classic race for colts in June is ideal.  “We have run the likes of Ruler of The World, Soldier of Fortune, Treasure Beach, Wings of Eagles and Magician in Chester on their way to the Classics,” added O’Brien. 

O’Brien trained the first three home in the 2017 renewal of the MBNA Chester Vase, in second place was Wings Of Eagles who did have a clear run whilst negotiating the undulations of Epsom, but the Chester experience proved invaluable to the colt and he duly recorded a further Epsom Derby victory for O’Brien.

Back in 2013 Ruler Of The World justified his name when landing the MBNA Chester Vase by an impressive six-length margin and one month later forged clear of his rivals to win the Epsom Derby.

“The fillies that we have run in the Cheshire Oaks have all progressed on the way to the Oaks too,” added O’Brien, referring to a race he has won six times in 10-years.

At the 2018 Boodles May Festival the beautifully bred Magic Wand was spell binding, using the inside draw to her advantage, she flicked her ears as she heard the enthusiastic Chester Racecourse crowd and quickened away to win the Arkle Finance Cheshire Oaks for O’Brien.  The trainer also ran Forever Together who occupied second place.  She subsequently reversed the form with her stable mate when landing the Epsom Oaks with a commanding performance when ridden by Donnacha O’Brien, Aidan’s son.

Dubbed as ‘The Master of Ballydoyle’ where he trains near Cashel in County Tipperary, O’Brien runs a slick operation and he stresses the value of great teamwork in running a successful training establishment.  This includes The Lads back home making the plans – referring to owners John Magnier and his associates when O’Brien is evaluating future outings. 

The teamwork and attention to every detail are readily observed by visits to the conveniently located pre-parade ring and paddock as runners are saddled up and paraded in the race preliminaries.  This is an opportunity at Chester Racecourse to get close-up and ‘assess the flesh’ of top-quality thoroughbred racehorses whose ancestors have been successful in the highest quality international races on the calendar. 

The plan is for the O’Brien 2019 runners at Chester Racecourse to continue that story of remarkable success.