Phonsie O’Brien: won the Irish Derby with Chamour
PICTURE: RP GRAPHICS
By Johnny Ward 8:05PM 5 JUL 2016
PHONSIE O’BRIEN, the youngest brother of legendary trainer Vincent O’Brien, has died peacefully at home in Ireland at the age of 86.
A key cog in his brother’s training career, he passed away at his home in Kilsheelan, County Tipperary on Tuesday.
He was the last living brother of Vincent, who died in 2009.
As a trainer himself from the mid-1950s, Phonsie achieved a place in Irish racing history by sending out four consecutive winners of the Galway Plate. Others have trained more winners of the big summer handicap but four Plate wins in a row remains a record.
His yard was based at South Lodge stables before moving to Thomastown Castle, where Tommy Stack now trains.
Deemed a very astute judge of a horse at the sales, he was also an excellent amateur rider and successful breeder. When Vincent was suspended controversially for doping offences in 1960, Phonsie took over the licence at Ballydoyle, assisted by his other brother Dermot and Chamour won the Irish Derby three months later for the stable.