Joseph O’Brien: Intricately In Good Form Ahead Of Breeders’ Cup Run

I am currently in America ahead of the Breeders’ Cup and preparations are well under way.

My Moyglare winner runs on Friday in the Juvenile Fillies Turf and she seems in good form.

She has travelled over well and hasn’t done a lot since, so now we just hope she gets to the race in one piece. You can never really envisage that a horse can reach the sort of level she has reached. You know sometimes you have a horse with potential and you can only hope they improve as the year goes on and that has happened with Intricately.

Looking ahead, she is bred to make a nice 3 year old being a daughter of Fastnet Rock and the dam is a sister to Rock of Gibraltar.

So you would imagine she should get better with time.

She heads into a very competitive race on Friday and there looks to be some great fillies up against her, most of the best around to be honest. So we’ll keep our fingers crossed for a good run.

Pat Smullen was crowned champion jockey at the weekend. He’s such a good rider and he works very hard. You have to admire his consistency at the top level, whatever sort of race it is, and it’s a thoroughly deserved title and will continue to be for however many more years he’s going to be champion. He’s a great fella too.

My brother Donnacha was crowned champion apprentice and he has also been rewarded for hard work this year. He got some nice rides but he made the most of them so he deserves it.

He works very hard at his riding and at his weight because he is going to be a big man. Intricately at 8-10 at the Breeders’ Cup would be the minimum for him by a long way but he works hard at it and I’m sure he’ll last as long as he can.

It was something that Donnacha actually had on his mind at the start of the year to be champion apprentice, so he’ll be glad to follow through on it.

It’s one thing getting good rides but you have to deliver also and he has done that.

So I’m glad to have him on my side.

Irish Jockeys
There’s a few eye-catching jockeys at apprentice level in Ireland and any one of them who can hold their own or make a name for themselves here could do it anywhere else in the world, because the standard of jockeys in Ireland is so high. It’s so competitive for every ride and no matter how low the grade of race or small the track, you’re competing with the champion jockey for rides so that’s why we’re regarded as having the best standard of jockey on the world stage.

Weekend Action
My father had Capri at Saint Cloud on Sunday where he finished 3rd in the Group 1 Criterium de Saint Cloud. He ran a good race and has been working well all year so he is a 3-year-old to look forward to.

Another one to fall into that category was Donnacha’s ride Douglas Macarthur. He had been disappointing in a couple of starts during the year but it was great to see him back to run a blinder.

I saw Cue Card’s run in the Charlie Hall Chase on Saturday at Wetherby and I thought it was a good run. He travelled well but probably got a little tired off the back of the last jump.

I’m sure he’ll improve as the season goes on so I wouldn’t be concerned at all.

He’s a horse capable of winning any of the biggest races on the calendar and although he was defeated at the hands of Irish Cavalier, it was great for Rebecca Curtis to win the big race.