Owner Lloyd Williams predicted world domination for trainer Joseph O’Brien after his horse Rekindling dramatically beat his father Aidan O’Brien’s Johannes Vermeer into second place in Tuesday’s Melbourne Cup.
O’Brien Sr has never won the Melbourne Cup, Australia’s most prestigious race, and despite a record-breaking year which has seen him saddle winners in 27 top-class races, the wait goes on.
Johannes Vermeer looked set to seal another victory for O’Brien Sr, but it was his son Joseph who won the race at his first attempt as jockey Corey Brown guided home 14-1 shot Rekindling in the closing stages.
Max Dynamite finished third in a 1-2-3 for Irish-trained horses at Flemington, although O’Brien Jr, who only commenced his new career as a trainer in 2016, stole the show.
“I’m proud of this young man. He’s an absolute star,” said Williams, who had the first two home in the richest two-mile handicap – the race is worth £3.6m – on the planet.
“I’ve been telling anyone who will listen to me that Joseph will be the leading trainer in the world in years to come, his father needs to watch out.
“You have just seen the start of an amazing career kick off right here in Melbourne. He’s an absolutely extraordinary young man and this is an amazing achievement.”
O’Brien Sr, who watched the race from his home in County Tipperary, suggested he might have been less happy had his own horse won. He said: “It’s absolutely marvellous and I couldn’t be happier. It’s the perfect result.
“I was hoping and praying we’d finish second all the way up the home straight. I was delighted that was the way it turned out.”