A race that has become synonymous with Aidan O’Brien is the Epsom Derby. The blue ribband of flat racing is the one that all trainers dream of winning — something that the Irish trainer has managed more than anyone else.
Aidan O’Brien is arguably the greatest horse racing trainer of all time — a master of his craft who consistently finds new and innovative ways of getting a huge volume of equine excellence under his care to win the biggest prizes on the flat racing calendar.
Training out of the world-famous Ballydoyle stables in Ireland, O’Brien has plundered most of the prestigious races around the world, and even at the age of 53, he shows no signs of stopping just yet.
One race in particular that has become synonymous with O’Brien is the Epsom Derby. The blue ribband of flat racing is the one that all trainers dream of winning, something that the Irish trainer has managed more than anyone else.
Eight Wins And Counting
O’Brien holds the record for the most Derby wins by a trainer in history with eight, and in 2023 he will be confident of extending that record with the brilliant Auguste Rodin. For those of you who follow the UK horse race betting scene, you will know that O’Brien’s star three-year-old is considered to be a strong +200 favorite for this year’s Classic.
Tipped by his trainer as a horse that has the potential of challenging for the Triple Crown this season, Auguste Rodin is a special horse who possesses all of the attributes needed to win the 2000 Guineas, St Leger, and, of course, the Derby.
O’Brien’s Derby Dominance
Aidan O’Brien’s love affair with the Epsom Derby began back in 2001, and it is fitting that his maiden win came with a horse that is now one of the most famous in the world, Galileo. He may now be known as the greatest sire that the world has ever seen, but Galileo was also once the dominant force in flat racing, following up his Derby win with victories in the Irish equivalent and the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes at Royal Ascot.
Just twelve months later, O’Brien once again found himself in the winner’s enclosure at Epsom, with High Chaparral producing a courageous effort to make it two in a row in the Derby for his trainer.
Surprisingly, O’Brien would have to wait another 10 years for more Derby delight. In 2012, another superstar colt arrived on the scene from Ballydoyle, this time in the form of Camelot. Having won the 2000 Guineas earlier in the season and adding the Derby in his next race, Camelot attempted to win the St Leger and ultimately the Triple Crown.
In the end, this was not to be, but his Derby victory did signal the beginning of Aidan O’Brien’s dominance in the Epsom showpiece.
Ruler Of The World would give O’Brien his fourth taste of victory in the Derby twelve months later, with the brilliant Australia bringing three wins in a row for his trainer the following year. Two years would pass before his next victory with Wings Of Eagles in 2017, after which Anthony Van Dyck (2019), and Serpentine (2020), would bring the master trainer’s total to a record eight victories in the prestigious contest.
Not content with dominating the Derby, O’Brien has also recorded 10 wins in the Epsom Oaks, as well as ten 2000 Guineas, and seven in the 1000 Guineas.
It is a phenomenal record for a phenomenal trainer and with the likes of Auguste Rodin, Little Big Bear, and Never Ending Story, amongst his team for 2023, it is likely that these winning totals will be added to by the end of the season.