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Published: 09:17 | 8/3/16

O'Brien to concentrate on training


Joseph O'Brien has announced his retirement from race-riding in order to concentrate on his training career.

The two-time Irish champion jockey has struggled had keep his weight down in recent seasons and late last year he confirmed that he would ride fewer horses for his father Aidan in 2016.

He began training at a yard in Piltown, County Kilkenny, where he has more than 70 horses, last year and having accepted defeat in his battle against the scales he will now concentrate on securing his training licence.

"It's hard enough to make a decent job of one thing, never mind trying to juggle two, so I'll be concentrating on training and won't be riding anymore," O'Brien told the Racing Post.

"I knew when I was starting off riding it was not going to last forever. I was heavier than everyone else. I never expected to be riding until I was 35 or 40. I was always fully aware it was a short-term thing. I have always been fully aware of my situation so stopping riding is not a shock to me. I have always expected it."

O'Brien rode 518 winners during his short career and his ten Classic winners included two Derby victories and two Irish Derby wins, while he broke Mick Kinane's long-standing record for wins in a season when he was crowned Irish champion jockey in 2013.

He will be hoping for a fairytale start to his new career when he saddles Ivanovich Gorbatov in next week's Triumph Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.

"It looks to be a wide-open Triumph Hurdle this year and your best chance of picking a winner might be to stick a pin in them. All we can do is have Ivanovich there in the best shape possible and he is 100 percent right now, I couldn't be happier with him," he stated.

O'Brien has worked closely with his father and he will be looking to benefit from everything he has learned at his Ballydoyle base.

"Everything I have learned has been from Dad - race-riding, training and everything else. I suppose I'll make plenty of mistakes but hopefully I'll learn from them and keep getting better as the years go by," O'Brien added.

"Dad's attention to detail is unbelievable. It's hard to explain all the little details. They change from day to day and from horse to horse. Every horse is different, every situation is different so you can't really sum it up in a sentence or two but he's taught me so much and hopefully I'll be able to take some of it on board."


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