Joseph O’Brien is doing everything in his power to try and win his first Jockeys’ Championship. The 19 year old is locked into a titanic tussle with Pat Smullen for the crown and both now have 75 winners apiece.
Before he travels to Paris to partner St Nicholas Abbey in the Prix de l’Arc de Triopmhe at Longchamp on Sunday, the young jockey will ride at two meetings in Ireland this afternoon in a bid to get ahead of Smullen.
O’Brien will ride in all five flat races on Gowran Park’s mixed card this afternoon before dashing to Dundalk to ride four more including the fancied Declaration of War for his father in the Group Three Diamond Stakes.
In contrast six times champion Smullen only takes in the all weather meeting at the Louth venue but has rides in all of this evening’s races there bar the opening apprentice handicap.
O’Brien’s commitments to Ballydoyle have ensured the frenetic pace for today. While he will be on duty at Longchamp on Sunday where he has a host of rides for his father’s yard, Smullen will be at Tipperary hoping to capitalize on his title rival’s absence.