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Aidan O’Brien

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  • #11638
    Zarkava
    Participant
    • Total Posts 4691

    We’ve all gotten caught up in Sea The Stars (and rightly so) but I think we should spare a thought for Aidan O’Brien. Just because he’s not had the winner doesn’t mean he’s not put in a phenomenal training performance to get 4 of his 6 horses to finish 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th. Age of Aquarius was only a neck away from making it the 6th as well.

    Simply astonishing in a race like the Derby. Ironically maybe it’s because he has so many challengers and so many stallions to advertise that he’s not had the winner in 7 years. Vincent O’Brien may have been the greatest trainer of all-time but certainly his namesake Aidan is no slouch either.

    He’s had 1-2-3s in the Irish Derby and St. James’ Palace and other top class Group 1s but in a way, this might be more satisfying for him.

    #232372
    Ian
    Member
    • Total Posts 1415

    Absolutely.

    Yes he has the strongest stable around but its still a remarkable achievment yet again.

    Think he might land the Irsh Derby. :wink:

    #232373
    MDeering
    Member
    • Total Posts 1688

    He had two speed horses in the race and I am unsure who they were catering for – Rip Van Winkle or Fame And Glory?

    I’m guessing the former, which didn’t succeed as they would’ve hoped – but it was clear Fame And Glory had enough speed to win the Derby if Golden Sword had urged the tempo along up the back.

    I think I said a fortnight ago that it would be humiliating if APO’B could not win this, and I’m not going to sway from those sentiments now.

    #232382
    wit
    Participant
    • Total Posts 2165

    APOB did a brilliant job, but he can only work with what he’s given.

    Coolmore lost this Derby when the Tsuis sent Urban Sea to a Darley stallion instead of (as with Galileo) a Coolmore one.

    If Darley now get STS back for breeding, Coolmore will redouble their efforts at chucking darts at the board to find a successor to Sadler’s Wells, and APOB will be asked for a repeat performance next year.

    #232387
    seabird
    Participant
    • Total Posts 2924

    "……………but he can only work with what he’s given."

    That made me smile, wit.

    Colin

    #232394
    thedarkknight
    Participant
    • Total Posts 1299

    A poor Derby for O’Brien. Given the make up of their 6 horse squad, and taking into account the profile of Sea The Stars, the tactics employed by O’Brien were laughably bad.

    Maybe Sea The Stars would have won however the race had been run, but setting a very steady gallop and hoping Fame And Glory would somehow outspeed the 2000 Guineas winner in the straight? I don’t think so.

    It seems they all got way too caught up in their own Rip Van Winkle hype…

    #232400
    wit
    Participant
    • Total Posts 2165

    A poor Derby for O’Brien…..the tactics employed by O’Brien were laughably bad.

    i don’t think you can say that unless you know what result O’Brien was told to achieve by Coolmore – was it just "win the race", or "win the race with X" ?

    seems to me the man has to work to instructions, its not like he’s running an independent operation.

    he does the best he can (and it is undeniably very good) with what he’s given and told to achieve.

    #232402
    MDeering
    Member
    • Total Posts 1688

    And since Darley took off with a recent Derby winner by Galileo out of a mare with a sprinting influence, Coolmore aimed to reply to something better (RVW) – good thinking Wit.

    #232403
    thedarkknight
    Participant
    • Total Posts 1299

    Fair enough – substitute "Team O’Brien" for O’Brien then…

    We have debated team tactics and commercial interests at length on this forum before, but I have to say – even given all the "previous" with this operation, I was astonished at the extent to which Coolmore/O’Brien were willing to sacrifice the chances of 5 of their horses in order to try to win with the "one". It is almost like the others had all tested infertile the day before the race!

    (This isn’t pocket talk either btw – I was on Black Bear Island and he was the horse that clearly wouldn’t have been involved however the race had been run!)

    #232404
    % MAN
    Participant
    • Total Posts 5104

    I am surprised, knowing there was a question mark over Sea Of Stars stamina, that a stronger pace was not set in the race to make it a greater stamina test.

    I am sure the faster pace would not have caused a significant problem for the O’Brien runners.

    Regarding Wit’s comment about which horse was meant to win – I would have though with Vincent O’Brien’s death this week they would have been happy with any one of their runners winning the race.

    #232405
    thedarkknight
    Participant
    • Total Posts 1299

    Agreed Paul.

    Fame and Glory had an excellent chance going into the race and they surely knew he had the one attribute that could find out Sea The Stars – copper bottomed stamina. It is almost unbelievable that a horse with that profile had his chance totally compromised for a horse that was little more than a bit part player on known form.

    Kieren Fallon basically got it right in the RP – if they didn’t make it a stamina test, STS would win. They didn’t and he did!

    #232406
    Cav
    Participant
    • Total Posts 4825

    Regarding Wit’s comment about which horse was meant to win – I would have though with Vincent O’Brien’s death this week they would have been happy with any one of their runners winning the race.

    With Galileo looking like the main replacement to Sadler’s Wells it certainly appears they are desperate to get him on the sires who’ve won a classic at Epsom winners list. Not something you’ll ever read in the formbook but something that needs to be factored into the evaluation of their runners chances in future Derby’s imo.

    Its all about the money.

    #232422
    stilvi
    Participant
    • Total Posts 4515

    A poor Derby for O’Brien. Given the make up of their 6 horse squad, and taking into account the profile of Sea The Stars, the tactics employed by O’Brien were laughably bad.

    Maybe Sea The Stars would have won however the race had been run, but setting a very steady gallop and hoping Fame And Glory would somehow outspeed the 2000 Guineas winner in the straight? I don’t think so.

    It seems they all got way too caught up in their own Rip Van Winkle hype…

    As this forum ‘closed’ yesterday that is exactly the same point I made on another forum last night.

    I would go as far as saying it was one of worst plans in racing history. It made the Ballydoyle team look stupid.

    #232432
    robnorth
    Participant
    • Total Posts 6226

    Evidence I suggest that you have too much of a good thing, and with so many entries in the race trying to set the race up for all of them is a nightmare.

    I can understand there will be many who disagree, but in my opinion so much strength in the hands of one stable doesn’t do the race a huge amount of good.

    Rob

    #232435
    Anonymous
    Inactive
    • Total Posts 17716

    Going into this race 80% of people must have believed like AOB and Murtagh their best chances of success were F&G and RVW. So why would they run the race not to suit them?

    They did exactly the right thing and took the best possible prize money home they could have.

    No matter how that race had been run Sea the Stars most likely would have won. He was actually running over the top of himslef in the early stages and he looked like a horse who’s cruising speed is a fair bit higher than the speed they were going. Plus the horse gave the same impression he gavein the Guieneas that he was never really flat out.

    RVW also looked like he would possibly have been happier with a stronger gallop or at least a more even pace. He got caught a bit flat footed with the sudden injection of pace but once he did get going he was finishing best of all.

    Great achievemnt by AOB who played it like he sould have IMO.

    #232437
    thedarkknight
    Participant
    • Total Posts 1299

    Rob – agreed it wouldn’t be easy to set up the race perfectly for all of them…

    But a strongly run race would have probably suited 5 of them, whereas a falsely run race, just the one (and that one didnt have the best form)

    It really is a sad day when a horse like Fame and Glory is sacrificed in the Derby…

    #232454
    stilvi
    Participant
    • Total Posts 4515

    Going into this race 80% of people must have believed like AOB and Murtagh their best chances of success were F&G and RVW. So why would they run the race not to suit them?

    They did exactly the right thing and took the best possible prize money home they could have.

    No matter how that race had been run Sea the Stars most likely would have won. He was actually running over the top of himslef in the early stages and he looked like a horse who’s cruising speed is a fair bit higher than the speed they were going. Plus the horse gave the same impression he gavein the Guieneas that he was never really flat out.

    RVW also looked like he would possibly have been happier with a stronger gallop or at least a more even pace. He got caught a bit flat footed with the sudden injection of pace but once he did get going he was finishing best of all.

    Great achievemnt by AOB who played it like he sould have IMO.

    Disagree entirely. The race was only run to suit Rip And Winkle and he was flattered to finish so close. In a strongly run race I doubt he would have finished in the four. It is probably not going to happen but I would suggest there is still a large amount of doubt as to whether Sea The Stars would confirm the form with Fame And Glory if they actually ‘raced’ over 1m4f. Nobody knows the limit of Sea The Stars stamina but the intention to drop him back in trip probably gives something of a clue.

    The only ‘achievement’ I can think of for O’Brien is managing to say even less in each interview.

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