Horse racing is one sport where Ireland truly dominates on a world stage. In the early hours of this morning that was proven yet again when Irish trained horses came first, second and third in the Emirates Melbourne Cup, the ‘Race that Stops a Nation’ in Australia and with a first prize in cash terms of €2.4 million.
The race was watched live at Flemington racetrack in Melbourne by 90,000 and broadcast live around the world including on Twitter.
Rekindling was the horse, the youngest in the race and the first to win it as a three year old since 1941.
Joseph O’Brien was the trainer, at 24 the youngest in the 157 year history of the race and only the second Irish man to train the winner after Dermot Weld with Vintage Crop in 1993.
Joseph is the son of Aidan who trained the second horse home and has already set a new world record in terms of the number of Group One races won around the world.
To top off a magical morning Willie Mullins trained the third horse Max Dynamite.
“I can’t quite believe it yet,” said O’Brien speaking to the Go racing website after the win.
“I’m so delighted for Lloyd and Nick (Williams, owners). They suggested to bring him down and that he would have a good chance in the race.”
“His prep went really well. Corey gave him an unbelievable ride and I’m just so delighted for everyone – all the lads at home and the lads that have been down here have done an unbelievable job.”
“It hasn’t really sunk in yet to be honest.”
“I spoke to my dad and he’s delighted.”
“I’m going to enjoy today and hopefully we’ll have a horse good enough to come back.”
It’s an incredible achievement for O’Brien who gave up race riding just over a year ago to concentrate on training and is already playing at the very top of the sport.