Joseph O'Brien has his first century of Flat winners in a calendar year

The training career of Joseph O'Brien seems to reach new heights on an almost daily basis and another milestone was set when he saddled his 100th winner on the Flat in a calendar year, with the victory of Equitant in the Floodlit Friday Nights Rated Race at Dundalk on Friday evening.

The son of Equiano was having his first run for the stable since joining O'Brien from Richard Fahey, and in the hands of the stable's champion apprentice Shane Crosse, he just edged out Mr Ormsby by a head.

It crowns a most impressive year for O'Brien, highlighted by the victory of Latrobe in the Irish Derby, and an odyssey which began when Ship Of Dreams and Zaofu gave the yard a double at Dundalk back on January 5th.

To put it in context though, Joseph became the first trainer to have a century of winners, other than his father Aidan, since Dermot Weld and Jim Bolger both secured the feat in 1994 when the Dundalk winter series did not exist. The closest non-O'Brien to repeating it since was John Oxx in 1995 with 99 winners.

Joseph O'Brien has clearly established himself this year as the principal rival on the Flat to his father, whether he can really threaten that supremacy is going to be one of the more interesting aspects of the coming years.