ASCOT, UNITED KINGDOM - SEPTEMBER 29: Trainer Aidan O'Brien talks to the press after his horse Listen wins The Meon Valley Stud Fillies' Mile at Ascot Racecourse on September 29, 2007 in Ascot, Berkshire, England. (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images)Although Aidan O’Brien is not directly related to retired Epsom Derby Champion trainer Vincent O’Brien, he is in many ways the great Irish trainers successor, carrying forward the great Irishman’s work at the Coolmore Stud and proving himself equally versatile with success in both horseracing formats.

Aidan O’Brien was born in Ireland in 1969. As a youngster he dreamed of becoming a jockey, and apprenticed himself as a teenager to a stable. O’Brien proved to be a capable rider, and by the 1993/1994 racing season had earned himself the Amateur Champion Jockey title.

Instead of choosing to go the route of professional riding, Aidan O’Brien instead made the decision to begin training horses. In 1995 Aidan O’Brien was awarded his trainer’s license, and set out to make a mark on national hunt racing.

O’Brien enjoyed immediate success in national hunt racing, winning two races on his first outing as a fully fledged trainer. By the end of his second season Aidan O’Brien had re-written the national hunt racing record books, setting the record for the greatest number of wins in a season for the format.

Having mastered national hunt racing, O’Brien turned his attention to flat racing after being offered the opportunity to take over from Vincent O’Brien at the Ballydoyle Stables. This opportunity was a massive breakthrough for the young trainer, as it gave him access to not only the best young thoroughbreds in the world, but also the exceptional facilities created by his esteemed predecessor.

In 1998 Aidan O’Brien took his first Classic at the 2,000 Guineas with King of Kings. More top class victories were to follow as O’Brien’s horses scooped up and Epsom Oaks/Epsom Derby double in 2001, as part of an impressive run of 23 Group 1 victories that year. The next year saw Aidan O’Brien take his second Epsom Derby title, confirming his status as a true Epsom Derby champion.

Since making his flat racing breakthrough, Aidan O’Brien has largely kept his attention focussed on flat racing has and achieved consistently in the format, winning group one races on several continents whilst maintaining a strong presence in Britain with additional classic wins.

The Epsom Derby Champion endured quiet seasons in 2006 and 2007 due to breeding disruptions at the Coolmore Stud, however there is little doubt that this young trainer will continue to set the standard in flat racing for many decades to come.