Royal Ascot top jockey award looks at the mercy of Joseph O’Brien
The form of Aidan O’Brien’s stable seem to be suddenly on the rise, in a season that has taken longer than last year to get firing. And it would be no surprise if the Irish trainer and his son Joseph had an excellent Royal Ascot, with the latter priced at 2/1 to be the week’s top jockey.
While Ryan Moore guided Ruler of the World to glory at Epsom, Joseph O’Brien was left fighting in vain aboard Battle of Marengo back in fourth. It is not the first time that the supposed stable first string has come undone at the expense of a less fancied runner.
But with 30 races to spread his charges across, the Master of Ballydoyle is likely to have far less runners in each race, meaning Joseph will pilot the yards best and sometimes only runner in most races.
This could be the difference between the chances of the 20 year-old and fellow joint-favourite and championship leader, Ryan Moore. O’Brien will ride the best Ballydoyle has to offer, while Moore will hoover up a plethora of ‘spare’ rides. At Ascot it will be down to quality rather than quantity.
The 20 year-old looks set to have a stellar book at the five day meeting. Irish 2000 Guineas winner, Magician, could lay down the challenge to Dawn Approach on day one, while Declaration of War is still high up in the betting for the opener, despite a poor showing in the JLT Lockinge stakes.
He is set to partner the aforementioned Battle of Marengo and triple Classic winner Camelot later in a week that could produce numerous victories for the Irish Champion Jockey.
As well as a whole host of other horses from his father’s stable, the youngster is likely to get a number of outside rides, including the more than capable Spirit Quartz in the King’s Stand Stakes.
With all of this in mind, it would be foolish to not seriously consider backing O’Brien the younger to have a top week in Royal Berkshire.
All odds and markets correct as of the date of publishing