Father-son duo Aidan and Joseph O’Brien maintained their positions as the top two in the leading trainer standings after another successful fortnight, writes Luke Baker.
Aidan’s total prize money for the season reached €3,355,395, almost one million euros ahead of his son, thanks largely to an enthralling victory for St Mark’s Basilica in the Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown.
O’Brien Sr’s tenth success in the Group 1 race netted him €580,000 to strengthen his No.1 spot in the rankings, after St Mark’s Basilica outduelled Dermot Weld’s Tarnawa and Jim Bolger’s Poetic Flare down the home straight.
The winnings accrued for those places have helped Weld and Bolger lie sixth and seventh in the standings, while back at the top of the standings O’Brien’s position was bolstered by a pair of high-profile second-place finishes at the Curragh just 24 hours after his Leopardstown success.
Point Lonsdale came home second in the Goffs Vincent O'Brien National Stakes to secure €60,000 for the 51-year-old, while King Of The Castle did likewise for €25,000 in the Comer Group International Irish St Leger – both Group 1 races.
The Ballydoyle handler’s son Joseph O’Brien produced a steady stream of winners across the last fortnight to hold off Jessica Harrington in the battle for second spot in the standings.
O’Brien Jr enjoyed success with the likes of Visualisation, Busselton and Assemble at Listowel this week – the latter scooping him €90,000 in the Grade A Guinness Kerry National Handicap Steeplechase – while also seeing Max Mayhem surge to victory in the €75,000 Irish Stallion Farms EBF `Northfields` Handicap.
Harrington kept up the pressure on the top two through sheer volume of victories, with a win for Discoveries in the Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes at the Curragh also not hurting her cause, while Ger Lyons and Johnny Murtagh sit fourth and fifth in the rankings respectively.
And Charlie Appleby is impressively in eighth, despite just three runs this season, as Native Trail’s success ahead of Aidan O’Brien’s Point Lonsdale in the Goffs Vincent O'Brien National Stakes netted him €180,000.
Leading trainers – 2021 flat season
- Aidan O’Brien
- Joseph O’Brien
- Jessica Harrington
- Ger Lyons
- Johnny Murtagh
- Dermot Weld
- Jim Bolger
- Charlie Appleby
- Adrian McGuinness
- Willie McCreery