O'Brien matches Bolger's long-standing record for handicap wins in a year
Success with Eagle Song in the nursery at Dundalk on Friday night was a significant one for Joseph O'Brien as it brought him level with Jim Bolger’s long-standing record of 40 Flat handicap wins achieved in a calendar year, which dates back to 1990.
Approximately 275 Flat handicaps were run in 1990 when Bolger set the record comparing to the 508 that have been run so far this year.
There are 595 Flat handicaps scheduled in Ireland this year, which is over double the amount of that in 1990, providing further context to Bolger’s achievement.
The master of Coolcullen came close to matching his own record in 2000 when sending out 35 Flat handicap wins but it would take an incredible amount of bad luck for O’Brien not to set a new record between now and the end of the year.
There have been 24 individual handicap winners for O’Brien on the level this season with nine of those each recording two or more successes and Flat handicapper Mark Bird has labelled his exploits in the sphere as "a huge achievement".
The most successful of O’Brien’s handicappers is Waitingfortheday who has won four and placed four times since joining the stable back in May, climbing from a mark of 57 to a career-high rating of 87 at one stage. Rockfish completed a similar feat in winning four handicaps this summer climbing 27lbs from 45 to 72.
Other multiple handicap winners for the Owning Hill handler include Song Of The Sky (three), Pedisnap (three), Camile (two), Perfect Tapatino (two), Rockabill (two) and Focus Of Attention (two).
O'Brien could break the record as early as Tipperary on Sunday where he has Band Of Outlaws entered in the Tote.com Handicap (2.10).
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