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Dublin: 2 °C Friday 17 January, 2020
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Joseph O'Brien gets official training career off to perfect start with four winners

The 23-year-old only got his licence on Friday.

Joseph O'Brien has plenty of reasons to smile today.
Joseph O'Brien has plenty of reasons to smile today.
Image: Tim Goode

Updated at 17.30

JOSEPH O’BRIEN HAD A debut day to remember as an official trainer, claiming four wins from seven runners across meetings at Listowel and Gowran Park today.

O’Brien is no stranger to success, in the saddle on the Flat and more recently as an unofficial trainer with the likes of Triumph Hurdle winner Ivanovich Gorbatov.

The former dual champion jockey had his trainer’s licence granted by the Turf Club on Friday and sent out the first runners under his name at Listowel (3) and Gowran Park (4) today.

And O’Brien, 23, made the best possible start to his official training career when Justice Frederick got home first in the 14.05 Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden.

The 6/4 shot, with Joseph’s 17-year-old brother Donnacha in the saddle, saw off 6/5f Leo Minor, which was trained by his father Aidan, by one-and-a-half lengths.

The day then got even better for Joseph O’Brien, who was at the sales today, though father Aidan was in Listowel, when Mai Fitzs Jack (4/9f) secured a convincing 10-length victory in the 14.50 John B Keane Maiden Hurdle at Listowel.

The seven-year-old gelding justified his heavy favouritism under Brian O’Connell, seeing off the other 13 runners with ease.

Patrick Kelly’s outsiders Licklighter (50/1) and Kansas Kid (50/1) got home second and third respectively.

O’Brien and brother Donnacha then teamed again up for Joseph’s third victory of the day when Zig Zag prevailed in the 16.35 at Gowran Park, the Gowran Park Golf Club Handicap.

The 7/1 shot edged John McConnell’s Phebes Dream (5/1) by a neck with Andrew Oliver’s Prairie Wind (12/1) one-and-a-quarter lengths further back in third.

Joseph O’Brien’s remarkable day was then completed when 11/8f Oathkeeper claimed the honours, with his sister Sarah in the saddle, in the 17.20 at Listowel, the Dr Louis O’Carroll Flat Race.

Oathkeeper and Willie Mullins’s Bel Sas (5/2) were the standout horses in the race and O’Brien’s mount eventually pulled away to record an impressive nine-length victory in the colours of JP McManus. Shay Barry’s Smitty Bacall (18/1) completed the minor placings.

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