The eldest son of Irish champion trainers Aidan and Annemarie, Joseph O’Brien has wasted little time in establishing himself as an integral part of the Ballydoyle operation.
He started off riding at pony clubs and won a bronze medal at the 2009 European Pony Championships before deciding to concentrate on becoming a Flat jockey shortly afterwards.
O’Brien enjoyed his first winner on board Johann Zoffany (later renamed Muir after being sold to race in Australia), trained by his father, at Leopardstown on 28 May 2009 and was joint champion apprentice in a three-way tie with Ben Curtis and Gary Carroll in 2010.
Things got even better in 2011, with a first Classic success on Roderic O’Connor in the Irish 2000 Guineas, two days before his 18th brithday. He won three other Group 1 races that season, the Moyglare Stakes on star two-year-old filly Maybe, the Racing Post Trophy on the season's joint top two-year-old, Camelot, and the Breeders' Cup Turf in the USA on St Nicholas Abbey.
He started 2012 in a similar vein as Camelot provided the jockey with a first British Classic success with a neck verdict in the QIPCO 2000 Guineas, the first contest in the QIPCO British Champions Series, at Newmarket on May 5.
On June 2, he landed his second Classic on Camelot when the Montjeu colt was an impressive winner of the Investec Derby. In the process, O'Brien created history as no father/son combination of jockey/trainer had previously landed the Classic. Camelot attempted to land the Triple Crown, but was beaten into second in the Ladbrokes St Leger at Doncaster on September 15.
His career continues to progress at an astonishing rate and on June 20 he recorded a first victory at Royal Ascot aboard So You Think in the Group 1 Prince Of Wales's Stakes.
A fifth 2012 victory in the QIPCO British Champions Series came courtesy of Excelebration in the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes Sponsored By QIPCO - a success that saw O'Brien take the title of Jockey of the Series.
QIPCO British Champions Series victories
2012 (5 wins)
QIPCO 2000 Guineas, Newmarket - Camelot
Investec Coronation Cup, Epsom - St Nicholas Abbey
Investec Derby, Epsom - Camelot
Prince of Wales's Stakes, Royal Ascot - So You Think
Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, Ascot - Excelebration
BCS Career Statistics
|Year||Wins-2nd-3rd||Prize Money||Best Horse|
|2011||0-0-2||£298,547.80||St Nicholas Abbey||View Rankings|