• The week’s significant milestones
21 Donnacha O’Brien
Ireland: At the age of 21, Donnacha O’Brien, champion jockey in Ireland for the last two seasons, got off the mark as a trainer on Friday night when he saddled odds-on favourite Flower Garland for an easy victory at Dundalk. “It’s nice to get it out of the way,” said O’Brien, who rode ten Group 1 winners in his brief career before retiring at the end of last term.
28 Christophe Lemaire
Japan: Christophe Lemaire, the Japan Racing Association‘s reigning champion jockey, partnered Mozu Ascot to win the February Stakes, the nation’s first G1 of the year at Tokyo racecourse on Sunday. The victory was a highlight of a six-timer on the card for the Frenchman, who has now won 28 G1s on the ultra-competitive JRA circuit; Lemaire’s most recent G1 before that was Almond Eye in the Tenno Sho (Autumn).
18,502 Alligator Blood
Australia: Star three-year-old Alligator Blood, who has won nine of his ten starts, topped the public vote to earn a place in the second edition of the A$5 million All-Star Mile at Caulfield on March 14. Trained by David Vandyke, he received 18,502 votes, putting him well ahead of New Zealand’s champion mare Melody Belle in second place with 11,898.
3,000 Jamie Ness
USA: Two winners at Parx Racing in Philadelphia on February 18 were enough to take prolific trainer Jamie Ness to his landmark 3,000th success. Renowned for his exploits in low-grade claimers, Ness, 46, hit 3,000 when Late Breaking News won a $25,000 event under jockey Navin Mangalee. The trainer has a career strike-rate of 24%.