O'Brien secures landmark win at the Curragh with Al Riffa

His assistant Brendan Powell was there to see the win

Saturday, August 06, 2022

Al Riffa winning at the Curragh

Joseph O’Brien celebrated a racing milestone on Saturday afternoon when Al Riffa’s win at the Curragh gave him the 1,000th success of his training career, writes Jack Lacey-Hatton.

The two-year-old was ridden prominently throughout by Dylan Browne McMonagle and eased to victory in the opening seven-furlong maiden.

Although O’Brien wasn’t able to witness the landmark in person, due to preparing runners at Saratoga, his assistant Brendan Powell was full of praise for the 29-year-old trainer, who achieved the milestone in just over six years with a licence.

“It’s phenomenal what he has done at his age,” Powell told the Racing Post. “Joseph is in Saratoga with a runner tonight and a couple tomorrow.

"Fair play to him, it keeps us in a job for another while!

“Dylan said he (Al Riffa) jumped off smarter today and was up there.

“He’s so big and still immature, but he’s come on bundles for his first run. The future is bright with him and he could be anything. He’ll stay well.

“Once he started niggling he felt he had to kick when he did. He said he kept quickening from two out all the way to line. Even a stronger gallop would have suited him.

“He seems to go on this quick ground for a big horse. Dylan said he’d be better with a little cut in it.

“They have mentioned National Stakes and you would have to talk about that with him. For the size of him I think he’s going to be a cracking three-year-old.”