Dual Irish champion flat jockey Joseph O’Brien has confirmed that he will no longer be riding in an attempt to focus on his training career.
The 22-year-old’s decision does not come as a surprise after he began taking out his full licence as a trainer. The record-breaking jockey won the 2011 Irish 2000 Guineas on board Roderic O’Connor but he will now look for further success alongside his father Aidan O’Brien.
He has a victory in Australia on his CV and also won the Derby on two occasions at Epsom. However, his height for a flat jockey was always going to cause issues as he battled the weight restrictions within the sport.
Confirming his decision to step off the saddle, he told the Racing
Post: “It’s hard enough to make a decent job of one thing never mind trying to juggle two things so I’ll be concentrating on training and won’t be riding any more.”
O’Brien has been working closely with his father and they are hopeful that JCB Triumph Hurdle favourite Ivanovich Gorbatov can produce the goods at Cheltenham next week.
He was in disappointing form last time out at Leopardstown but the former jockey believes the four-year-old will bounce back.
“He worked at Leopardstown last weekend and Barry (Geraghty) was very happy with him,” he said.
“We do think he’s a good horse and hopefully on the better ground at Cheltenham he’ll show an improved performance.”