Joseph O’Brien Stable Tour

A summer spent mopping up more major prizes on the Flat, including an Irish Derby with Latrobe and a Group 1 Fillies’ Mile at Newmarket may suggest Joseph O’Brien is switching his attention away from the jumps, but a morning spent taking shelter from the wind at the trainer’s Owning Hill stables leaves you in little doubt that the winter war chest is up to scratch.

In his company is a sweet but scruffy little Irish Terrier by the name of Rua, too young to remember miracle horse Edwulf’s spine-tingling success in last season’s Irish Gold Cup, but old enough to keep pace with the busy 25-year-old, who is quick to respond when asked to name some of the jumpers he is most excited about this season.

Edwulf is set to represent O’Brien, who finished third in the National Hunt trainers’ championship last season, in all of the big staying chases this term, while the place is abuzz about the prospects of seeing Le Richebourg take on stronger opposition having made a flawless start to his chasing career.

Grade 1 novice hurdle winner Tower Bridge is another exciting horse who goes novice chasing alongside Speak Easy and Shady Operator, with O’Brien nominating his hand in that particular sphere as his strongest.

“We’ve a lovely bunch of horses to look forward to this season and I’d say we’ve our best bunch of novice chasers that we’ve ever had,” he said.

“There’s a lot of talented young horses here. Hopefully we can have another good season. Last season was brilliant but whether we can be third in the trainers’ championship again or not I’m not sure.”

All in a day’s work: some of the youngsters schooling at Owning Hill

Patrick McCann

Stable profile

Yard Owning Hill

Where Piltown, County Kilkenny

Started training 2016

Horses in yard 150

Members of staff 40

Head lad Faisal Hayat

Assistant trainers Mark Power

Secretaries Mark Hackett and Emma Dunning

Travelling Head Girls/Lads Jim O’Brien, Tina Evans, Paddy Doody and Damien Byrne

Jockeys Barry Geraghty, Mark Walsh, Jody McGarvey, JJ Slevin, Ryan Treacy and Shane Shortall

Amateurs Tom Hamilton and best available

Stable sponsor Al Basti Equiworld and Matchbook


Twitter @JosephOBrien2


2017-18 67

2016-17 38


2017-18 -35.24

2016-17 -118.56





Five-year-old gelding

Zanzibari (sire) – Parcelle De Sou (dam)

Owner: Gigginstown House Stud

Form figures: 30-

Racing Post Rating: 119h

He ran well in a maiden hurdle first time out last December before disappointing in a Punchestown bumper. He goes novice hurdling.


5g Getaway – Knocksouna Lady

Gigginstown House Stud


RPR 125b

A nice horse. He’s not the easiest horse to train but he’s got a very big engine. I was surprised that he was good enough to win on debut at Leopardstown because of how green he was but he had been working well before the race. We’re looking forward to sending him over hurdles.

Air Supremacy

4g Galileo – Crystal Valkyrie

JP McManus


RPR 129h

He was a bit disappointing at Limerick last time. Whether he goes for a handicap or a novice race next, I’m not sure. He’s already done well for himself this term.

Listowel Wed 12 September 2018
Air Supremacy ridden by Mark Walsh, winner, at an early stage in The Ballygarry House Hotel Novice Hurdle


8g Lavirco – Latitude

Gigginstown House Stud


OR 137c, RPR 142c

He’ll come into consideration for all of those staying handicap chases. He was slightly unlucky when hampered at the last in the Irish Grand National, whether he’d have won if that hadn’t happened we’ll never know, but it was a good run from him. We’re hoping there’s a nice pot in him this season.


4g Getaway – Annaghbrack

Gigginstown House Stud


RPR 39b

He’s a nice horse who came from Eddie Hales and he should be ready to start off in bumpers in about four to six weeks’ time.

Prospect: Ballyneety on his way to the gallops

Patrick McCann


5g Milan – Rock Me Gently

JP McManus


RPR 112b

He ran well on his only start for us in a Leopardstown bumper won by Blackbow and he just had a little setback afterwards which is why he didn’t run again last season. He’s another novice hurdler we’re looking forward to.

Band Of Outlaws

3c Fast Company – Band Of Colour

J Carthy

Flat form -30274

It’ll be interesting to see what he can do as a juvenile hurdler. He’s a good consistent horse on the Flat and he handles soft ground well.

Champagne Paddy

5g Doyen – Shampooed

Pat Tennyson


RPR 117b

He’s back in full work but is a difficult horse to keep right. He won his bumper well and was second in a winners’ bumper at Limerick back in May. We’ll go jumping hurdles and he’s got a big engine if we can keep the wheels on.

Chead Solas

4g Flemensfirth – Lunar Beauty

Annus Mirabilis Syndicate


RPR 111

Second on his only bumper start for us at Killarney, we’d be hoping he can win one.


5g Walk In The Park – Autorite

Gigginstown House Stud


RPR 123h

He won nicely at Tipperary last time and is a nice horse who goes to Navan for the Grade 2 For Auction Novice Hurdle and we’re hoping he’ll be a nice horse for the year ahead.

Choungaya (left) and Mark Walsh jumps the second last flight with Visioman when winning the 2m colts and geldings maiden hurdle.
Photo: Patrick McCann/Racing Post 08.10.2018

Early Doors

5g Soldier Of Fortune – Ymlaen

JP McManus


OR 142h, RPR 144h

Chasing is an option but we’re leaning towards keeping him over hurdles this season. I guess he looks the type of horse who could pick up a nice race over hurdles before we eventually go down the chasing route next season. He might even stay a bit further than 2m4f so we’ll go down the handicap and graded hurdle route and see where it takes us.


9g Kayf Tara – Valentines Lady

JP McManus


OR 162c, RPR 169c

He looks great and I imagine he’ll chart a similar path to last year. It was great to get him back last season and he’s a lovely horse to have around the place. He’ll be ready to start back once we get rain. We’re looking forward to him.

Photo: Patrick McCann/Racing Post 24.10.2018

Ivanovich Gorbatov

6g Montjeu – Northern Gulch

JP McManus


OR 140h, RPR 153h

We’ll stick to handicap hurdles with him now but he wouldn’t want deep winter ground. The Greatwood Handicap Hurdle at Cheltenham could be an option for him. There’s still a big pot in him somewhere but he needs things to go his way.

Jack Dillinger

7g Westerner – Peppardstown

Michael O’Flynn & Stanley G Watson


OR 120h, RPR 131h

He was second on his only run for us at Gowran. He’s a nice horse with a big engine but he’s too keen for his own good and has to learn how to relax. I was disappointed to see him run freely the last day but it was still a big run from him. We need to get into his head.

Star quality

Le Richebourg

5g Network – Fee Magic

JP McManus


OR 140h, RPR 142h, RPR 148c

We’ve been delighted with how he’s taken to novice chasing, winning at Listowel before landing a Grade 3 at Tipperary last time in good style, and the Drinmore Novice Chase at Fairyhouse is next up for him. We’re hoping that he’ll handle soft ground better over fences than he did over hurdles, but we’ll see how he gets on in the Drinmore before making any concrete plans. Leopardstown at Christmas is never really deep winter ground so he could go there after Fairyhouse. He’s an exciting horse to have and we’re looking forward to seeing what he can do this season.

Tipperary Sun 7 October 2018
Le Richebourg ridden by Barry Geraghty, winner, at an early stage in The Like A Butterfly Novice Steeplechase

Lone Wolf

5g Gold Well – Luna Lovegood

JP McManus


RPR 118b, 121h

He ran well in a Listed hurdle at Punchestown before winning his bumper at the festival there last spring. He was very tough in scoring that day so he should stay well and he jumps well, too, so hopefully he’ll make up into a good novice this season.


4g Fame And Glory – Refinement

Michael Tabor


RPR 114b

He won nicely on his only run for us in a bumper at Killarney this summer. We’ll probably stick to bumpers this season and I think he’s a nice horse who’ll make a nice novice next year. He could even run on the Flat at some point.

Midnight Run

4g Well Chosen – Knockamullen Girl

Annus Mirabilis Syndicate


RPR 108b

A full brother to Carefully Selected, he won well first time out for us at Galway and he may stick to bumpers this season, although hurdling is still an option – we haven’t made a definite decision. He’s a horse with a big engine.


6g King’s Theatre – Pomme Tiepy

Gigginstown House Stud


OR 127h, RPR 137h

He’s got a rating in the high 120s but he’s actually still a maiden and we think he’s quite a nice horse. He goes novice chasing.


8g Oscar – Lady Lamb

JP McManus


OR 120c, RPR 125c

He kind of struggles in handicaps as he’s not the biggest in the world but there could be a nice one in him when he gets things right.

Paris Texas

5g Kapgarde – Patrice De La Borie

JP McManus


OR 117h, RPR 124h

A very consistent horse, he’ll jump a fence next year. He is what he is. We might get a bit of improvement out of him when we step him up in trip.

Petit Tartare

4g Heliostatic – Nuance Tartare

Martin O’Sullivan


OR 125h, RPR 124h

He won very well at Listowel and has run well on his two starts at Galway since where he’s shaped like a horse who’ll do well over a trip. There should be more to come from him when we step him up in distance.


5g Montjeu – Apticanti

JP McManus


RPR 140b

A horse we’re really looking forward to. He was a classy bumper horse last season and I’ve been happy with how his schooling has gone and I think he should get at least 2m4f over hurdles this season. He’ll be ready to start back as soon as we get a bit of rain.

Joseph O’Brien with Rhinestone.
Photo: Patrick McCann/Racing Post 24.10.2018

Shady Operator

5g Court Cave – Native Artist

JP McManus


OR 133h, RPR 132h

He goes novice chasing and he’s a horse we like a lot. He had a slight hold-up in the middle of the campaign last season – nothing too serious – and I was delighted with how he returned from a five-month absence to finish a narrow second at Punchestown. We were expecting him to run well that day but he was up with the pace throughout and it was nice to see him run as well as he did. He’s a fine big horse who looks as though he’ll stay 2m4f-plus and we’re hopeful that he can do well over fences.


6m Soldier Of Fortune – Second Emotion

JP McManus


OR 141c, RPR 145c

She’s on a break at the moment but I think there’s still more to come from her and she’ll be aimed at staying handicap chases when she comes back in.

Speak Easy

5g Beneficial – For Bill

JP McManus


OR 137h, RPR 147h

He was unlucky not to win a Graded novice hurdle last season and he goes novice chasing this term. He likes soft ground and will start off once we get plenty of rain. He probably shapes more like a stayer, but we like him.

Dark horse

The Gunner Murphy

5g Oscar – River Finn

JP McManus


RPR 131b

He hasn’t had many runs but is one we like a lot. He’s more of a staying type, but I’d have no problem starting him off over two miles on soft ground. He can go up in trip as he goes up in grade and hopefully he has a nice future.

Tigris River

7g Montjeu – Hula Angel

JP McManus


OR 143h, RPR 150h

He could go chasing, but it’s probably more likely that he’ll stick to hurdles and maybe we’ll try upping him in distance. He’s a bit behind some of the others so we haven’t put as much thought into his next target. We gave him a good break after Galway and I guess it will be at least Christmas time before we see him next.

Tigris River and Barry Geraghty winning the Guinness Galway Hurdle.
Galway Festival.
Photo: Patrick McCann 02.08.2017

Tower Bridge

5g High Chaparral – Walkamia

JP McManus


OR 143h, RPR 146h

A horse who provided me and my cousin JJ [Slevin] with our first Grade 1 win together over the jumps when he won the 2m6f novice hurdle at the Dublin Racing Festival at Leopardstown. We pitched him in at the deep end there because he had a very good run at Leopardstown over Christmas, where even though he was beaten, it was a messy race and Barry [Geraghty] was quite complimentary about him. We’re excited to see what he can do over a fence this season and he’s a stayer.


5g Galileo – Devoted To You

JP McManus


RPR 141h

He ran well at Tipperary the last day but he probably just wants softer ground. He’ll go for the Royal Bond Novice Hurdle at Fairyhouse and the softer the ground the better for him. We’ll probably step him up in trip after that, and I’d be quite hopeful about him.

Race in focus Every horse in the place would have a particular target but if I had to pick one, I guess Le Richebourg would be it, as the Drinmore Novice Chase is his big aim – that’d be the obvious one for me.

Uisce Beatha

5g Yeats – Hataana

JP McManus


OR 118h, RPR 117h

He won his maiden hurdle at Fairyhouse well and should make a nice staying novice chaser.

Us And Them

5g Stowaway – Manorville

Burnham Plastering & Dry Lining Limited


OR 135h, RPR 141h

He made a nice start to his chasing career when fourth at Wexford on Monday. He jumps well and should have plenty to offer over fences.

Horse to follow


If Rhinestone can scamper away from a horse like Sancta Simona, he simply has to be special and there were 19 lengths between the pair in a Thurles bumper last year. He might not have been man enough for the Champion Bumper at Cheltenham, but expect him to develop into one of Ireland’s leading novice hurdlers this season. He is an imposing individual with so much to offer over hurdles and the 33-1 about him winning the Ballymore makes plenty of appeal, even at this early stage of the season. He looks like he will want further than two miles to be at his best.

David Jennings

Vieux Morvan

9g Voix Du Nord – Moskoville

M L Bloodstock Ltd


OR 138c, RPR 143c

The Troytown at Navan is the aim. He was a little bit disappointing during the summer, but he’s a horse who wants softer ground. He could even go down the banks route at some stage this season. That could be an option for him as he ran in some of those types of races in France.

Vinnie The Hoddie

4g Vinnie Roe – Blackwater Babe

Five Guys & A Striker Syndicate


RPR 127h

He won very well at Gowran before disappointing a little at Galway on Sunday. He’s more of a chaser down the line but there could be a bit of fun to be had with him this winter over hurdles.

Vinnie The Hoddie and Mark Walsh wins the Connolly’s Red Mills EBF Auction Maiden Hurdle.
Gowran Park.
Photo: Patrick McCann/Racing Post 06.10.2018


5g Presenting – Jamie’s Darling

JP McManus


RPR 103h

He could run in a bumper, but the plan is to go novice hurdling. He ran well on his debut and there should be plenty of fun to be had with him.


8g Winged Love – Presentingatdawn

Gigginstown House Stud


OR 132c, RPR 133c

He’s new to us and seems to be a good consistent horse and we’d be hoping to win a staying handicap chase with him.

Young Turk

7g Poliglote – Jasminette Doree

Gigginstown House Stud


RPR 130c

Not the easiest horse to train. He’ll probably go for a rated novice chase next and he looks as though he’ll be a staying handicap chaser.



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