The racing empire established by Vincent O'Brien, has gone from strength to strength over the years and the current incumbent Aidan O'Brien certainly has the ability to continue the trend. Switching from being a record-breaking National Hunt trainer, Aidan has employed his talents to great effect, delivering group success on repeated occasions.
The first of his many Group One winners came in the form of Desert King in 1995 with his initial British classic following in 1998 with King Of Kings winning the Newmarket 2000 Guineas. 2001 was to witness an awesome spectacle in racing history as O'Brien broke the world record for most the most Group One winners in a single season. Amongst the memorable performances in that season Rose Gypsy won the French 1,000 Guineas, Black Minnaloushe won the Irish 2,000 Guineas and the St James Palace Stakes and Imagine claimed both the Irish 1,000 Guineas and the Epsom Oaks. Of the twenty-three Group One winners that season, Galileo's storming triumph in the English Derby was perhaps one of the most thrilling racing exhibitions or a superb year.
Galileo amassed an impressive array of Group victories in 2001, clinching not only the Epsom Derby, but also the King George and the Irish Derby. The task of winning over the shorter distance of a mile and a quarter and later on dirt was unfortunately too stern a test.
Aidan O'Brien completed his second Derby triumph in style was a historic one-two in the 2002 Epsom Derby. High Chaparral battled bravely under Johnny Murtagh to beat stable mate Hawk Wing in a nail biting finish, providing the Irish trainer with his fifth success in the previous seven British classics. High Chaparral has gone on to win Breeders cup success.
The 2003 and 2004 seasons have not gone as smoothly for the O'Brien stable; however with the resources and firepower at his disposal there is no doubt that he will have more success in the near future.
Despite a premature end to his career as jockey at the tender age of twenty-three, Aidan O'Brien has consistently displayed his aptitude as trainer. Two winners were saddled on his very first day as a National Hunt trainer and after being asked to step into the shoes of the legendary Vincent O'Brien (no relation) he has acquitted himself impressively. He currently holds the record for the most winners within a year in Ireland and is firmly established within the elite of the world's top trainers.