'I would have been as delighted for him had he beat me. We’re both over the moon'

History-making trainer Joseph O’Brien, who edged his dad Aidan to land the Melbourne Cup, is just coming to terms with his win.

O'Brien and jockey Corey Brown celebrate after the win.
O'Brien and jockey Corey Brown celebrate after the win.
Image: Andy Brownbill

THE COUNTRY AWOKE this morning to the news that the Irish contingent had put down a memorable day for Irish racing at the Melbourne Cup.

Joseph O’Brien edged his father Aidan to land the honour as Rekindling led an all-Irish one-two-three after a close finish.

The 24-year-old becomes the the youngest ever trainer to win at the Melbourne Cup in a training career that began just 18 months ago.

Speaking to Darren Frehill on Morning Ireland on RTÉ Radio 1 earlier, O’Brien spoke of how the feat is yet to sink in.

“It’s unbelievable,” he said. “The horse took the journey down very well. He’s had a great year and I hoped he could run well, but never dreamt that he could win really.

“It’s been pretty hectic there since the race so I haven’t really had time [for it] to sink in yet.

“It’s one of the biggest races in the world. To have a horse come down, to enjoy the occasion, the build-up to the race, to be taking part in it, it’s unbelievable.

“To actually win it, I can’t put it into words really.”

Aidan O’Brien’s Johannes Vermeer was edged to the line, while the Willie Mullins-trained Max Dynamite completed an all-Irish sweep of the placings at Flemington.

He grins when asked about beating his father — who has never won the race before — to the title.

“He was delighted that his horses ran so well,” O’Brien said.

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Dante Festival - Day Two - York Racecourse Joseph and Aidan O'Brien (file pic). Source: Mike Egerton

‘I would have been as delighted for him had he beat me. We’re both over the moon’

While shocked by the victory, O’Brien admits that Rekindle has come off the back of a solid season and praised his background team and the Irish performances Down Under accordingly.

He continued: “He’s been running consistently well.

“Mick Williams [owner] called me six or eight weeks ago and said, ‘Listen, I think this horse can win the Melbourne Cup’ and we should bring him down, it was from there that we planned to bring him down.

“It’s really unbelievable, three Irish horses 1-2-3 like. This is the biggest race in Australia and everyone who is training a horse in Australia, there is only one race they want to win.

“For three horses from the other side of the world to come down and take the first three spots, it’s an unbelievable achievement.”

And the plan now before returning to Irish soil? ”We’ll enjoy the few days and we’re looking forward to getting home!”

Source: Darren Frehill RTE/SoundCloud

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