1990: Portrait of Vincent O''Brien of Ireland meeting the press during a race meeting. Allsport UK /AllsportVincent O’Brien was born in Cork, Ireland in 1917. The ‘Master of Ballydoyle’ was born into a family with a strong horseracing tradition, with his father one of the most renowned national hunt trainers in Ireland having won a number of major races including the Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.

Vincent O’Brien earned his licence as a trainer in 1944, and began his career in national hunt racing. He met with abundant success in this format, winning several of the format’s most prestigious races including the Grand National, Cheltenham Gold Cup and the King George VI Chase.

Having conquered the world of national hunt racing, O’Brien turned his attention to flat racing in the mid 1950s. His first flat racing champion was Ballymoss who won the trainer his first three Group 1 races including his first Classic, the 1958 St. Leger Stakes.

Vincent O’Brien won his first Epsom Derby in 1962, with Larkspur. O’Brien went on to win the Epsom Derby on another 5 occasions, winning the race in 1968 with Sir Ivor, 1970 with Nijinsky, 1972 with Roberto, 1977 with the Minstrel and his sixth and final title in 1982 with Golden Fleece. This impressive run of victories made Vincent O’Brien one of the most successful trainers in the history of this great English Classic.

Having added the greatest races in flat racing to his collection of national hunt titles, Vincent O’Brien set about revolutionising the stud system by setting up the Coolmore Stud with businessman Robert Sangster. The Coolmore Stud was located in Tipperary, Ireland but soon set up satellite operations in Australia and Kentucky.

Today the Coolmore Stud is one of the most powerful racing syndicates in the world and is able to use its massive financial resources to purchase and train the world’s most promising young thoroughbreds. During this period O’Brien teamed up with Epsom Derby champion jockey Lester Piggott, and together this formidable team won hundreds of races.

Vincent O’Brien retired from training in 1990. He leaves behind an impressive legacy, having been voted the greatest trainer of the previous century in both horseracing formats by the readers of the Racing Post. His son, David, took over from him at the helm of the Coolmore stud, winning his first Epsom Derby in 1984.