Donnacha O'Brien

Date of Birth: July 22, 1998

County of origin: Tipperary

First winner: Quartz (Aidan O'Brien) Dundalk, September 7, 2014

Final winner: Nobel Prize (Aidan O'Brien) Naas, November 3, 2019

Champion Jockey: 2018, 2019

Champion Apprentice Jockey: 2016

Assoc. Trainers: Aidan O'Brien, Joseph O'Brien

Significant horses: Magna Grecia, Latrobe, Ten Sovereigns, Magical, Saxon Warrior, Forever Together, Intricately, Order Of St George, Fairyland, Happily, Nelson, El Salvador, Baraweez

Follow Donnacha on Twitter: @donnacha_obrien

Did you know?

A son of Aidan O'Brien, Donnacha enjoyed a brief but hugely successful career in the saddle before joining the training ranks in late 2019. He had just turned 16 when he rode his first winner on his father's Quartz at Dundalk in September, 2014. Big race success quickly came the teenager's way and the following month he landed the Irish Cesarewitch on El Salvador at the Curragh.  

His first Listed win came in the Saval Beg Stakes at Leopardstown on Kingfisher in June, 2015 and his first Group success arrived when Order Of St George won the Group 3 Palmerstown House Estate Irish St Leger Trial Stakes at the Curragh on August 20, 2016.  

But better was to come at the same course on Longines Irish Champions Weekend the following month when Donnacha captured his first Group 1 win on Intricately, trained by his brother Joseph, in the Moyglare Stud Stakes. The filly, bred by their mother Anne Marie, was also giving Joseph his first training success at the highest level.  

Donnacha was crowned champion apprentice rider at the end of the 2016 season. Donnacha rode out his claim when successful on his father's San Remo in the Dundalk Stadium Handicap at Dundalk on Wednesday, April 12, 2017.  

Donnacha was 19 years old when he landed his first Classic victory when partnering Saxon Warrior, trained by Aidan O'Brien, to win the QIPCO 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket on May 5, 2018. Early the following month, he won the Epsom Oaks on Forever Together, another trained by his father. Just weeks later won the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby at the Curragh when Latrobe prevailed in a thrilling renewal. Donnacha's brother Joseph trained Latrobe which beat horses trained by their father Aidan into second, third, fourth and fifth places.  

Donnacha reached yet another milestone when he rode 100 winners in a season for the first time at Dundalk on September 28, 2018. At the end of the 2018 season, Donnacha was crowned champion jockey for the first time with 111 winners.  

Planning for life out of the saddle, O'Brien completed the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board's Pre-Racehorse Trainers Development Course in May, 2019. Earlier in the same month, he had added to his Classic haul when he won the English 2,000 Guineas on Magna Grecia. Donnacha won nine Group 1 races in all, the final being the QIPCO Champion Stakes at Ascot in October 2019 on the Aidan O'Brien-trained Magical. 

Donnacha was crowned champion jockey for the second time at Naas on November 3, 2019. In a season that saw two jockeys record a three-figure tally for the first time, he retained the title with 111 winners and beating the 2017 champion Colin Keane by eight. 

Just three weeks later, Donnacha announced his retirement for the saddle, saying, "After thinking about things for a while I have decided to concentrate on training next year. Riding has been very good to me and I owe everything to the people around me. I want to give special thanks to the Magnier, Smith and Tabor families along with my own family for all their support. I look forward to training a small group of horses next year and will hopefully build from there.”

Donnacha's trainer profile can be found HERE

SeasonRuns1st2nd3rd4thWin MoneyPlace MoneyTotal *
Winter All Weather 2018/2019151543€15,625€25,575€41,200
Winter All Weather 2017/2018237141€68,125€17,375€85,500
Winter All Weather 2016/2017527577€44,375€24,550€68,925
Winter All Weather 2015/2016448748€50,400€20,885€71,285
Winter All Weather 2014/2015487465€42,350€13,890€56,240
Flat 2019464113725642€1,720,794€1,124,443€2,845,236
Flat 2018416111786632€2,316,725€1,085,090€3,401,815
Flat 201728862392833€1,093,750€536,513€1,630,263
Flat 201628948504140€657,338€440,860€1,098,198
Flat 201517214271515€230,500€122,140€352,640
Flat 2014467253€99,850€14,420€114,270

Date From
Date To
Race Type
Venue Date Horse Race Type Distance Place Weight Rating Race Pattern/ Listed Prize Money
Naas 03/11/19 Gentile Bellini (GB) Hcp 1m 2f 5 9-9 88 Naas Nursery Of Champions H'cap €510
Naas 03/11/19 Nobel Prize Mdn 1m 1 9-5 Irish Stallion Farms EBF M'dn €9,900
Naas 03/11/19 Love Locket Hcp 7f 2 9-6 84 Membership At Naas Nursery €3,400
Naas 03/11/19 Stratum (GB) Hcp 1m 6f 10 10-1 108 Local Bookmakers November H'cap
Naas 03/11/19 Perfect Tapatino (FR) F 1m 3f 180yds 4 9-5 90 Finale Stakes (Listed) Listed €2,250
Naas 03/11/19 Fame And Acclaim Mdn 6f 8 9-5 Irish Stallion Farms EBF M'dn
Dundalk 30/10/19 Equitant (GB) F 1m 7 10-1 87 Dundalk Stadium Claiming Race
Dundalk 30/10/19 Munaajaat Hcp 1m 3 9-9 65 H'cap €1,100
Dundalk 30/10/19 Beckwith Place Hcp 1m 12 9-13 82 Book Your Christmas Party At Dundalk Hcp
Dundalk 30/10/19 Yale (USA) Mdn 5f 1 9-5 Floodlit Friday Nights At Dundalk M'dn €7,200
Dundalk 30/10/19 Vatican City Mdn 7f 1 9-5 Irish Stallion Farms EBF M'dn €9,000
Galway 28/10/19 Meeting Hcp 7f 7 9-6 66 H'cap
Galway 28/10/19 Elfin Queen (USA) Mdn 1m 73yds 3 9-0 Irish Stallion Farms EBF (Fillies) M'dn €1,900
Galway 28/10/19 Magic Fountain (USA) Mdn 7f 2 9-0 71 Corrib Food Products M'dn €2,800
Galway 28/10/19 Ozone Hcp 1m 3f 180yds 1 9-0 50 Reaneys of Galway Supporting NUIG H'cap (Div 1) €6,600
Galway 28/10/19 Cerberus (GB) Hcp 1m 3f 180yds 2 9-0 71 A Year To Remember At Galway H'cap €2,600
Galway 28/10/19 Grace To Grace Hcp 1m 3f 180yds 1 9-2 55 Reaneys of Galway Supporting NUIG H'cap (Div 2) €6,600
Galway 28/10/19 Tuamhain (GB) Hcp 7f 8 9-10 66 Barna Recycling H'cap
Dundalk 25/10/19 Eria Hcp 1m 2f 150yds 8 9-8 73 Crowne Plaza Race & Stay H'cap (Div 2)
Dundalk 25/10/19 Tinkerbells Effect Hcp 5f 4 9-1 69 Lengthen Odds BetVictor Nursery H'cap €625

*Statistics are up to close of business the previous day. Prize-money is allocated within 1 week of the race date (allow 1 week for Prize-money).