O'Brien youngest ever Breeders' Cup winner

Joseph O’Brien became the youngest rider to ever win a Breeders’ Cup race as he steered his father Aidan’s St Nicholas Abbey to a famous success in the Turf at Churchill Downs.

Joseph O’Brien became the youngest rider to ever win a Breeders’ Cup race as he steered his father Aidan’s St Nicholas Abbey to a famous success in the Turf at Churchill Downs.

Settled in mid-division by the 18-year-old, the Montjeu colt picked up superbly when angled out for a run.

Sea Moon and Ryan Moore had given chase to Brilliant Speed off the turn, but St Nicholas Abbey swamped them both, stretching clear in tremendous style.

Sea Moon had no answer in second, with Brilliant Speed third.

A clearly moved Aidan O'Brien said: "It's very special, unbelievable. It was a wonderful ride, it's incredible. What can I say, he's an incredible rider."

Joseph’s mother, Anne-Marie, said: “I’m so excited, he gave it a super ride. It’s fantastic. My heart was going 100mph, I could hardly stand up I was so nervous. We are so pleased to be here.”

The winning rider said: “It’s a dream come true. I was very happy with my position, I was very happy with the horse and he picked up when it mattered.

“They went a nice pace, I had to be patient and wait for the gaps, but when he got out he picked up well.

“I’ve been coming to the Breeders’ Cup since I was very small, but to ride here and ride a winner – it’s out of this world.”

Coolmore partner Derrick Smith said: “This is way up there. We’ve always had faith in the horse and to see Joseph, it’s a day from the gods. They have put so much work into everything. It’s unbelievable for us.

“The horse showed all his brilliance today, we always knew it was there.”

Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager to Sea Moon's owner Khalid Abdullah, said of the Sir Michael Stoute-trained colt: ``Sea Moon ran a blinder, however he wasn't helped by his sluggish start.

“We can’t complain as he got in a super position to challenge and did everything he could. He is lightly raced and still a bit babyish.”

The Abdullah silks were also sported by Sir Henry Cecil’s Midday, who had to be led to the start.

Grimthorpe said: “The signs just before the race weren’t very positive and I would think that would be it for a magnificent career.

“There’s no doubt she has been one of the all-time great racemares.”

More in this section

Sport
Newsletter

Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up
IE_logo_newsletters

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox