New clip lifts lid on infamous O’Brien tweet

Nic Naitanui may have brushed off Reilly O’Brien’s inadvertent tweet during last season, but a forthcoming documentary has revealed more details about the interaction and how it really took place behind the scenes.

Ahead of Adelaide’s clash against West Coast in Round 6, the Crows ruckman accidently sent a tweet leaking his pre-game notes on Naitanui, calling him “lazy and unfit”.

In a clip promoting the new Amazon Prime documentary Making Their Mark, more details around the incident have now been revealed.

Adelaide coach Matthew Nicks was shown to be laughing with some players after revealing the contents of O’Brien’s tweet.

Naintaui’s inner sanctum reaction was also depicted, with the Eagles star saying that he “can’t wait to bash this kid” after being made aware of O’Brien’s tweet.

“Eddie Betts messaged me saying ‘please don’t hurt him too much’,” he said.

“You’ve made your bed so you can lay in it now.

“I can’t wait to bash this kid on Saturday, I’m sorry to say that.”

O’Brien also gave his version of events, saying it was a bit of a “horror show” how his notes were made public.

“My phone broke the night before,” he said in the documentary.

“I didn’t even know you could share notes through Twitter.”

“It was a bit of a horror show, it’s interesting as I’ve put a bit of pressure on myself.”

Making Their Mark will be released on March 12, with cameras following the likes of Rory Sloane, Stuart Dew, Eddie Betts, Nic Naitanui and Stephen Coniglio throughout the 2020 season.

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Former ABC journalist Kerry O’Brien rejects Australia Day honour in protest over Margaret Court award

Renowned journalist Kerry O’Brien has rejected his Australia Day award, saying the decision to give former tennis great Margaret Court the country’s highest honour is “deeply insensitive” and “divisive”.

The former host of the ABC’s Four Corners and 7.30 programs wrote to the Governor-General’s secretary Paul Singer on Sunday knocking back his appointment as an Officer (AO) of the Order of Australia — the second-highest honour.

Ms Court is being promoted from an Officer of the Order of Australia to a Companion (AC), but two state premiers and LGBT groups have criticised the decision due to her outspoken views against same-sex relationships and transgender people.

Mr O’Brien said he could not accept his honour from the same body that would make “such a deeply insensitive and divisive decision”.

“Margaret Court was a great tennis player who thrilled most Australians in her tennis years including me, but her hurtful and divisive criticisms relating to the fundamental rights of the LGBTQ+ community are clearly repugnant to many Australians,” O’Brien wrote.

“I believe the decision to present her with this award was deeply insensitive and must undermine community respect for awards that were created to celebrate a true spirit of community, not divide it.”

Mr O’Brien’s decision to reject the award was in support of Canberra doctor Clara Tuck Meng Soo, who last week handed back her Australia Day honour over Ms Court’s appointment.

Dr Soo received a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in 2016 for her work as a medical practitioner with LGBT people and those with HIV and drug dependencies.

In 2018, she became one of the first GPs in Australia to undergo gender transition.

Canberra doctor Clara Tuck Meng Soo is returning her Order of Australia medal.(ABC News: Selby Stewart)

In a letter to Governor-General David Hurley, Dr Soo said the move by the Council for the Order of Australia to elevate Ms Court’s honour sent “a message that they condone” her views.

“[This award] is condoning if not supporting the very negative and hurtful statements she has made about the LGBTIQ community over the past few years,” Dr Soo wrote.

“If we are awarding the highest honour in the land to someone, it needs to be for more than just achievements in their field,” she said.

Mr O’Brien, a seven-time Walkley Award winner, was to be awarded for distinguished service to the broadcast media and to journalism as a current affairs presenter, interviewer and reporter.

He initially accepted the honour but decided to reverse it in solidarity with Dr Soo.

“To me, Dr Tuck Meng Soo epitomises the true spirit of the Order of Australia. Her actions speak volumes as to why the Court award is so wrong,” he wrote.

“Please pass on my regrets to the Governor-General. I am conscious that there are many well-meaning people involved in the Order of Australia process, but there has to be something fundamentally wrong with a system that can produce such a deeply insensitive and divisive decision.”

Margaret Court
Former tennis champion Margaret Court says people should judge her tennis, not her personal views.(AFP: Paul Crock, file photo)

Ms Court holds a record 24 grand slam singles titles and in 1963 became the first female Australian to win Wimbledon.

The 78-year-old, who is now a minister of the Pentecostal Church in Perth, on Friday welcomed the Council for the Order of Australia’s decision to elevate her and defended her past criticisms of same-sex marriage.

“I’m not going to change my opinions and views, and I think it’s very important for freedom of speech that we can say our beliefs,” she said.

Ms Court has described homosexuality as “an abominable sexual practice” and wrote an open letter in 2017 saying she would boycott Qantas over its support of same-sex marriage.

“I teach what the Bible says about things and you get persecuted for it,” she said in an ABC interview last year.

In 2013, she wrote a letter to the editor in a newspaper lamenting the birth of Australian tennis player Casey Dellacqua’s child in a same-sex relationship.

“It is with sadness that I see that this baby has seemingly been deprived of a father,” Ms Court wrote.

LGBTQ+ advocates have expressed concerns Ms Court’s views could encourage hostility and discrimination towards young gay and transgender people, who have higher rates of suicide than the general population.

Some advocates have called on the Council of the Order of Australia to reverse its decision, which they said “rewards prejudice”.

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Tennis great Margaret Court responded to the controversy over her appointment to the highest level of the Order of Australia.

Anyone is able to nominate someone for an Order of Australia award.

After someone is nominated, staff in the Governor-General’s office research each candidate.

Then the candidates are considered by the Council for the Order of Australia — an independent body of 19 members that has representation from each state and territory.

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Kerry O’Brien refuses Order of Australia medal after Margaret Court receives Australia Day honour

Kerry O’Brien has rejected the Australia Day honour he was due to receive today in protest at the ″⁣deeply insensitive and divisive decision″⁣ to give the country’s highest award to former tennis great Margaret Court.

“I believe the decision to award Australia’s highest honour to Margaret Court may serve to erode the hard-fought gains made over decades in reducing the impact of discrimination against members of the LGBTQ+ community,” the veteran journalist and former ABC current affairs host wrote in a letter to the office of the Governor-General, David Hurley.

Kerry O’Brien said giving Margaret Court an Australia Day medal “eroded the hard fought gains made over decades” to stop discrimination against the LGBTQI community.Credit:Ben Rushton

He added that such discrimination “has caused immense pain to untold people and destroyed lives”.

Mr O’Brien had earlier agreed to accept his appointment as an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in Tuesday’s official honours. But on Saturday, he wrote to reverse his decision in protest against Mrs Court’s elevation in an awards system that had already recognised her achievements as the winner of 24 Grand Slam singles tennis titles, and her charity work, with an Order of Australia in 2007.

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Breeders’ Cup: Order of Australia wins first Mile for Aidan O’Brien

Order of Australia races to victory in the Breeders’ Cup Mile

Aidan O’Brien claimed a 1-2-3 as he celebrated his first Breeders’ Cup Mile victory with Order of Australia.

The 73-1 shot, ridden by Pierre-Charles Boudot, was last of nine runners over a mile and two furlongs at the Curragh last month but won by a neck.

Circus Maximus, ridden by Ryan Moore, was second, with Frankie Dettori’s mount Lope Y Fernandez three quarters of a length further back in third.

Kentucky Derby winner Authentic won the coveted Classic.

Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez guided his mount home by two-and-a-quarter lengths to give trainer Bob Baffert his fourth Breeders’ Cup Classic win.

Frenchman Boudot only got the ride in the Mile following the positive Covid-19 test of Christophe Soumillon.

It was a 13th Breeders’ Cup winner for O’Brien, who stayed at home in Ireland.

O’Brien recorded a 1-2-3 in the 2016 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe and also had clean sweeps in the Irish Derby, 1,000 Guineas, Irish Champion Stakes and Galway Plate.

Andrew Balding’s 2,000 Guineas winner Kameko, ridden by Champion Jockey Oisin Murphy, faded in the closing stages in Kentucky and was seventh, three-and-a-quarter lengths adrift.

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No warning signs that Melbourne Cup 2020 horse was at risk, says Aidan O’Brien stable, Racing Victoria

“But these things happen at this game, it happens now and again. I suppose it was in the limelight yesterday but everyone did the best by the horse.”

RV’s integrity services team will complete a fatality report after Anthony Van Dyck was euthanised at Flemington following a catastrophic fracture to his fetlock.

Jockey Hugh Bowman (in pink) on board Anthony Van Dyck in the Melbourne Cup.Credit:Getty Images

Comerford said the horse passed vet exams on the Thursday before the Cup and had pulled up well out of his runner-up finish in the Caulfield Cup.

“The ground was very kind to him at Caulfield … it couldn’t have been any kinder to the horses,” he said.


“Willie Mullins’ horse came out of the race well, we came out of the race well, Prince Of Arran came out of the race well. They turned up yesterday in great order. Anthony Van Dyck never looked as well.”

But Anthony Van Dyck’s death adds to a list of horses that have either died in the Cup or never made it to the races after arriving at Werribee.

Stablemate Wichita suffered a fracture to its right hind leg in a trackwork gallop with Anthony Van Dyck last month and was euthanised a week later due to complications encountered in its recovery. Another import, Involved, was also euthanised following a training injury.

Aidan O’Brien also lost The Cliffsofmoher in the 2018 Melbourne Cup after he fractured his shoulder and could not be saved, adding to the deaths of Red Cadeaux (2015) and Verema (2013) who also suffered catastrophic limb injuries.

“It does happen from time to time and we’ve been unlucky it’s happened to us a few times but what can you say when everybody does right by the horses,” Comerford said.

“When everybody does right by the horses there’s not more you can ask.

“You couldn’t come to a better place. Everybody here is a big help. You get well looked after and everybody is doing right by the horses.

“We’ll always be back, we’re bringing more horses here every year. Eventually they won’t have much room for us if we keep bringing them.”

The Cliffsofmoher’s death in 2018 triggered a change in how the internationals are examined in the lead-up to the race.


Since then, the international horses are required to take X-rays of all four legs in their home country, undergo pre-travel examinations from both a local stable vet and an independent regulatory vet in each jurisdiction and a video of the horse being trotted up prior to examination must be sent to Racing Victoria.

That process saw one horse denied permission to travel to Australia for this year’s spring carnival.

“There is information coming in; we think that’s valuable information,” RV’s executive general manager of integrity Jamie Stier told SEN on Wednesday.

“As a consequence of that information this year one horse didn’t travel to Australia but that’s not to say more can’t be done and we’ll continue to do whatever we can to drive that fatality rate down as low as we possibly can.”

Stier said the deaths at both Werribee and in the Melbourne Cup would be looked at independently of each other before working out whether they could be linked.

“I think it’s important we do whatever we can to get the evidence we can to support decisions rather than just jumping to conclusions,” he said.

“Nothing was expressed to us saying the vets held any concerns regarding any condition which could lead to an injury of the nature that did occur.

“Regardless of how you might classify [the number of deaths] it’s certainly something we’re concerned about obviously and it’s something we’ll leave no stone unturned trying to address.”

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Melbourne Cup 2020: Anthony Van Dyck euthanised, Aidan O’Brien tribute

Anthony Van Dyck’s trainer has paid tribute to the celebrated racehorse, who was euthanised during Tuesday afternoon’s Melbourne Cup in Flemington.

Despite being one of the favourites to clinch victory, Anthony Van Dyck went lame on the straight after suffering a fractured fetlock. The horse was loaded into an ambulance before being put down.

The bay stallion is the second horse in three years to die because of an injury sustained in the Melbourne Cup after Cliffs of Moher was euthanised in 2018. Both horses were trained by the same trainer, Aidan O’Brien.

“He was a very kind, sound, lovely-natured horse – incredibly tough and genuine,” O’Brien said after Tuesday’s race.

“It was very sad to see that happen, it was just very unfortunate. He was a good Derby winner who we’ll have fond memories of.”

Anthony Van Dyck’s jockey Hugh Bowman was uninjured in the incident.

The Victorian Racing Club released a statement offering its condolences to Anthony Van Dyck’s connections.

“We would like to thank the track and veterinary staff for their prompt and humane care of the horse,” the VRC said.

“The club remains totally committed to the welfare of all equine athletes and the ongoing focus on their wellbeing and will continue to work with the industry to understand the cause of this incident.”

Originally published as Trainer speaks about horse’s death

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Melbourne Cup 2020: Twilight Payment wins Flemington race for Irish trainer Joseph O’Brien

Winning jockey Jye McNeil was riding in the Melbourne Cup for the first time

Twilight Payment has won the Melbourne Cup to give Irish trainer Joseph O’Brien a second victory in the ‘race that stops a nation’.

The winner, ridden by Jye McNeil, led from start to finish and held on from Tiger Moth – trained by O’Brien’s father Aidan – and Prince Of Arran.

“I’ve got goosebumps. I’m actually stoked to pull it off,” said McNeil.

Tiger Moth’s stablemate Anthony Van Dyck, winner of the Derby at Epsom in 2019, broke down in the home straight.

O’Brien, 27, also landed the race at Flemington with Rekindling four years ago.

It was a dream debut Melbourne Cup ride for McNeil and a seventh triumph for owner Lloyd Williams in the two-mile handicap, that has a first prize of more than £2.3m.

The race, which usually attracts a crowd of around 100,000, was held behind closed doors because of the coronavirus pandemic.

More to follow

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Aidan O’Brien sends out best to land elusive win

Aidan O’Brien is not messing around anymore. He’s sending out his very best stayers to try to finally win the Melbourne Cup.

The Irish training genius has two runners in Tuesday’s big race — an English Derby winner and a young stayer so highly rated, he is Cup co-favourite with his stablemate.

“Your racing is very competitive down there and we are trying hard to win races,’’ O’Brien tells The Daily Telegraph from his training complex at Ballydoyle.

“Obviously, we are trying to bring the best horses we can bring at the time. We know you need very good horses to try to win down there.’’

And they don’t come much better than Anthony Van Dyck, winner of the 2019 Derby at Epsom Downs.

He’s the first winner of the world’s oldest and most prestigious classic to race in Australia, let alone in a Melbourne Cup.

Tiger Moth ran second in the Irish Derby then thrashed older rivals in the Group 3 Kilternan Stakes at Leopardstown.

Both stayers are untried at 3200m but O’Brien believes they will run the trip.

“I suppose ‘Anthony’ has never run further than the mile-and-a-half,’’ O’Brien says.

“But we always thought he would stay further, he is a very classy horse.

“Obviously, Tiger Moth is the same, a mile-and-a-half is as far as he’s run as well.

“He ran a very good race in the Irish Derby (second to Santiago) and we were very happy with his last run as well.”

The Melbourne Cup was first run in 1861 and it wasn’t until 1993 when northern hemisphere-trained stayers were aimed at the Flemington two-miler. Irish trainer Dermot Weld prepared Vintage Crop to win the race that year.

O’Brien had his first Cup runner with his great stayer Yeats in 2006. He ran seventh behind Delta Blues.

In the years since, O’Brien has gone close to winning the Melbourne Cup, most notably in 2017 when Johannes Vermeer was narrowly beaten into second. Rekindling, trained by O’Brien’s son Joseph, won the race.

So, O’Brien is getting a better handle on what is required to win the Melbourne Cup but he was blindsided when informed how race history is stacked against Tiger Moth and Anthony Van Dyck.

Tiger Moth has only had four starts and no Cup winner in nearly 140 years has had so few starts.


You need to go back to 1883 to find a Cup winner with less experience.

Martini-Henry holds the record, winning the Victoria Derby on debut then backing up on the Tuesday to win the Melbourne Cup.

“I didn’t realise that,’’ O’Brien says.

“If you say that, it has to be a concern. It has been a trend and trends are often very hard to reverse.

“He ran two races before the Irish Derby and then he ran in the mile-and-a-half race at Leopardstown. We tried to make that race as fast and as strong and as competitive as we could to try to teach him as much as we could and to expose him as much we could.

“We knew he wasn’t going to have many opportunities to run before the Cup. We have done our best to teach him.’’


Anthony Van Dyck is the number one saddlecloth bearer in the Melbourne Cup with topweight of 58.5kg and, if he wins on Tuesday, he will break the race record for the most weight carried successfully by a northern hemisphere-trained stayer.

The highest weight carried by a ‘northerner’ to win a Melbourne Cup is the 56.5kg shouldered by German stayer Protectionist in 2014.

In fact, no horse has carried 58.5kg or more to win the Cup since Think Big in 1975.

“That is another thing that I didn’t know,’’ O’Brien says.

“All the great horses that have run in the Melbourne Cup and could not carry that weight and win. It shows what a competitive race this is, really.

“This is a handicap and trends are not easy to break, some people live by trends.

“All we can do is try and, hopefully, the lads will get him to the Cup as well as they can have him.

“The lads are very happy with the horse since the Caulfield Cup. We know we have a high-class, quality horse.’’

O’Brien speaks at least twice daily with his stable staff who travelled from Ireland to take care of his Cup contenders this spring.

Europe is dealing with a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic — Ireland is in lockdown for six weeks — which has added to the logistical challenges O’Brien has had to deal with preparing Anthony Van Dyck and Tiger Moth.

“Obviously, it is very difficult,’’ he says.

“We are very grateful for the lads who went down there two weeks before the horses arrived. The lads had to stay in hotel rooms for two weeks. That’s serious commitment from our people.

“We are lucky to have such special people working for us, really. If it wasn’t for them we would not have runners in the Melbourne Cup.

“When you see what has happened in Europe with the numbers going back up again, our numbers in Ireland are still fairly high, we realise how important it is to still be racing.

“With everyone in lockdown, and you can’t go anywhere, it is a big thing to be able to watch the races and read about it.

“Even though there is no one on track and you think there is no atmosphere, it doesn’t come across that way and it’s a massive thing for people’s mental health to be able to watch the races.’’

O’Brien has had to watch from afar as Anthony Van Dyck went under narrowly in the Caulfield Cup then Armory was beaten by Sir Dragonet in the Cox Plate.

Those narrow losses, as disappointing as they were, at least tell the trainer that his Melbourne spring carnival team is thriving at the Werribee quarantine and stabling facility and he has two very good chances to win the Melbourne Cup.


Ironically, it could be a stayer he previously trained, Sir Dragonet, who could deny O’Brien that elusive Cup win. Or perhaps, it will again be O’Brien’s son Joseph, with either Master Of Reality or Twilight Payment.

“When we had Sir Dragonet, we always thought he loved the flat track,’’ O’Brien says.

“We thought a mile-and-a-quarter and a mile-and-a-half was his trip. He liked the fast pace to run it. That’s the horse we always thought he was. He’s very classy.

“Ciaron (Maher) and his team have done a great job with the horse and we were delighted for them when he won the Cox Plate. It was unbelievable and it is going to be great to be watching him run.

“When Joseph won it, we were over the moon. We would be delighted for him to win it again.

“We have been trying to win it for a long time and we haven’t, we have got close a few times but that’s all.

“We will keep trying and doing our best but sometimes it is not meant to be. You have to accept that and move on and try harder the next time.’’

O’Brien has given himself perhaps his best opportunity yet to win the Melbourne Cup. Certainly the bookies think so as they have Anthony Van Dyck and Tiger Moth sharing favouritism at $8 with their former stablemate Sir Dragonet.

“We think these are two quality horses that have gone down there, but that doesn’t give you any right to win it or anything to say it will happen,’’ the trainer says.

“But you try to do your best.

“We love to be able to compete and we love to be able to have horses that can have a chance of being able to win it and could win it.

“Whoever wins on Tuesday, we will be delighted for them because we realise how tough it is for an owner, trainer, jockey, breeder, agent, anyone, to win this race.

“If it does happen (for us), they deserve all the credit for doing it because it is a very difficult thing to make it happen.’’

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POV Perspective of Surfing Pipeline in Hawaii with Jamie O’Brien

This article originally appeared on and was republished with permission.

Pipe is officially open for business.

Last week, a solid NW swell hit the Hawaiian islands and lit up Banzai Pipeline for the first time of the 20/21 season. Naturally, Jamie O’Brien and crew were chomping at the bit to document their season-opening session at Pipe on Jamie’s vlog.

The surfing starts at the 6:00 mark and as you’ll see, Pipe was pumping and JOB was psyched.

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Melbourne Cup 2020 will have ‘strongest field in my lifetime’: Danny O’Brien

Charlie Appleby won the 2018 Cup with Cross Counter, while Saeed bin Suroor landed the 2019 Caulfield Cup with Best Solution, both in the Godolphin blue. But the duo thought the problems and difficulties of travelling horses to Australia was a bridge too far this year.

Irish giant Coolmore had other ideas and Aidan O’Brien sent a handful of horses to challenge for the big prizes as did his son Joseph. Both will be strongly represented in Tuesday’s Cup.

“At the start of the journey I thought the chances of having international competition this year was at best remote,” Carpenter said.

“We always knew the horses would be able to come, but the logistical challenges and the difficulties of travel were something we feared would make it difficult to get such a strong field.

“It’s very pleasing to see such a top class entry in such difficult times.”


Danny O’Brien said: “I can’t remember a deeper Cup, certainly one where you have got the English Derby winner, the Caulfield Cup winner and the Cox Plate winner all in together.”

A glance at the likely field confirms their opinion.

Top weight Anthony Van Dyck is one of the best-credentialled horses ever to have come to this country, having won the 2400-metre Epsom Derby.

He showed his wellbeing by running a gallant second under top weight in the Caulfield Cup to Chris Waller’s Verry Elleegant, a multiple group 1-winning mare that will also be in the field next Tuesday.

Rarely these days does the Cox Plate winner line up in the Melbourne Cup, but Sir Dragonet, successful on Saturday in the hands of Glen Boss, will look to land the classic double last achieved by Makybe Diva with Boss aboard in 2005.

O’Brien’s Russian Camelot, a dual group 1-winner and third in the Cox Plate, is set to renew a rivalry with Sir Dragonet and will be better suited to a longer trip than the 2000-metre Plate.

Tiger Moth, the current pre-post favourite, represents the Aidan O’Brien stable and comes with excellent credentials, having been a narrow runner-up in the Irish Derby this year and a good winner last time out.

In addition four of the first five home last year – Vow And Declare, Master Of Reality, Prince Of Arran and Surprise Baby – are all set to line up once more as well as some from the beaten brigade, such as Steel Prince and Twilight Payment, who are arguably in better form than they were 12 months ago.

Add to them the likes of last year’s VRC Oaks winner Miami Bound, who proved she was in fine fettle with a win in the Moonee Valley Cup at the weekend and the 2019 Victoria Derby winner Warning, who looks like he is crying out for more ground, and it is indeed a vintage crop.

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