We catch up with jockey turned horse trainer and Land Rover brand Ambassador Joseph O’Brien as he prepares for Cheltenham festival 2021
Auto Boland Jaguar Land Rover are delighted to be continuing their partnership with Horse Trainer Joseph O’Brien again this year.
The O’Brien family is a household name in Ireland as they continue to grow and succeed within the horse racing field both nationally & internationally. Joseph, son of Aidan & Ann-Marie O’Brien has gone from riding his first winner in Leopardstown at the age of 16 in 2009 to recently winning his second Melbourne Cup last year.
We caught up with Joseph ahead of next week’s Cheltenham festival and discussed his favourite memories of Cheltenham, how the Land Rover Discovery Sport plays a key role in Carriganóg and what horse he wishes he owned ahead for next week’s festival.
Auto Boland JLR: Can you tell us about your preparation for Cheltenham & how COVID-19 impacted your preparation?
Joseph O’Brien: Cheltenham is the premier national hunt meeting of the year with the best of the Irish and UK horses building up all season to clash there. This has been a strange season and a strange year for people all over the world, luckily the racing industry has kept going behind closed doors. I have a great team of staff here who have been working tirelessly to ensure everything goes smoothly for the horses and staff heading over there. Other than implementing social distancing, wearing masks & sanitising we have been able to keep going with our normal routine.
AB JLR: Can you tell us about your first memory of Cheltenham?
JOB: My first memory of Cheltenham is watching Istabraq winning there for Dad and JP McManus. He was a very special horse in our lives growing up and really captured the imagination of the Irish people.
AB JLR: What has been your favourite memory of Cheltenham over the years?
JOB: Ivanovich Gorbatov winning in Cheltenham is a memory that will always stand out for me, he won the Triumph Hurdle for us. It was very special because all of my family were there and he was the first winner in Cheltenham that I was directly involved with.
AB JLR: What is your favourite race to watch over the week?
JOB: There are so many great races throughout the week, from the novices who are the next generation to the big names clashing in the open races. I think the Gold Cup has to be the premier race of the week and the one I really enjoy watching, it is the race that I would most love to win one day.
AB JLR: Who is one to watch this year in Cheltenham?
JOB: Of my team going over there, Fakir D’oudaires is probably my best chance of getting on the scoreboard. He will run in either the Queen Mother or the Ryanair Chase.
AB JLR: Can you tell us about your partnership with Auto Boland?
JOB: AutoBoland has been my sponsor for a number of years now, it is a great relief for me to have such a top class and reliable team behind me. Land Rover is synonymous in the equine world so it makes a perfect partnership.
AB JLR: How has your Land Rover Discovery Sport played a role in Carringanog?
JOB: In my daily routine, it can take me from off roading around the yard at home to heading up the motorway to the races within a matter of minutes. The Land Rover Discovery sport is the perfect car for me because of its durability and comfort.
AB JLR: What is your favourite feature of the Land Rover Discovery?
JOB: My favourite feature is the All-Wheel Drive Technology. This allows me to have a confident drive both on or off road, making it the perfect vehicle for grass as the torque can be balanced between the front & rear wheels to maximise traction. The Land Rover Discovery’s durability and its ability to be so comfortable on and off road really makes it stand out from the other 4x4’s in the market for me.
AB JLR: What is the best lesson that you have learnt in horse racing?
JOB: In racing and in life in general there are many lessons to be learned every day. In racing, you always have more losers than winners, so it’s important not to get caught up in the bad days or get too carried away in the good days is something I feel is very important. Keeping a level head but really appreciating your success.
AB JLR: If you could pick one horse that you don’t own for Cheltenham to have, which horse would it be?
JOB: A horse going to Cheltenham that I’d love to train is Monkfish. He looks an Irish banker this year and could easily be a Gold Cup horse next year.
AB JLR: Finally, what advice would you give to your 15-year-old self-staring out?
JOB: Not to pay any attention to social media! In this day and age people can fire their opinion directly at you with no consequences and not have to even have their name behind it. When I was younger, I took it far too seriously but I have learned to deal with it as I’ve got older.
Wishing Joseph & his team all the best in Cheltenham from all in Auto Boland Jaguar Land Rover.
If you would like to test drive the Land Rover Discovery Sport for yourself, contact us on 051-335000 or visit our Website