Fancy Blue holds on to de­liver Nas­sau win for O’Brien Jnr

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Sport Racing - By Mar­cus Army­tage rac­ing cor­re­spon­dent at Good­wood

Many young men Don­nacha O’Brien’s age are about to set out in life hav­ing just re­ceived their de­gree re­sults, but the 22-year-old trainer is in­ter­ested in firsts of a dif­fer­ent kind.

O’Brien, the youngest son of Ai­dan and a suc­cess­ful jockey un­til weight got the bet­ter of him last year, has taken over Long­field Sta­bles in Tip­per­ary, 20 min­utes from Bal­ly­doyle, the place he calls home.

He is al­ready a French Clas­sic win­ner and Fancy Blue, the filly who de­liv­ered him that, gave him a maiden Bri­tish Group One suc­cess with his first run­ner in England when she and Ryan Moore beat the fast-fin­ish­ing One Voice a neck in an all-Ir­ish fin­ish to the Qatar Nas­sau Stakes.

“It’s un­be­liev­able to get a filly like this in my first sea­son,” he said. “I’m un­der no il­lu­sion about how lucky I am. It’s mas­sive, I never ex­pected any­thing like this, but you’ll always have a chance with Cool­more’s pedi­grees.

“I was look­ing af­ter her last year although she was run­ning in Dad’s name. We’ll give her a lit­tle break now. She’s had a busy start to the sea­son and we’ll bring her back for Ir­ish Cham­pi­ons week­end – either the Ma­tron Stakes or the Ir­ish Cham­pion.

“Then it will be the Arc or the Opera at Longchamp, and af­ter that she could either go to the Breed­ers’ Cup or Ja­pan for a race where she gets a bonus, hav­ing won the Prix de Diane. They love their rac­ing there and be­ing by Deep Im­pact [the lead­ing Ja­panese sire] she’d have a big fol­low­ing among Ja­panese race fans.”

Who has brag­ging rights on the best mid­dle-dis­tance filly, Ai­dan with Love or Don­nacha with Fancy Blue, at meal-times might not be de­cided for a while. “I wouldn’t be writ­ing her off in the Arc with the three-year-old fil­lies’ al­lowance,”

O’Brien said. “She might not have been as im­pres­sive as Love yet, or have as high a rat­ing, but she’s shown a few at­tributes Love has yet to show and French rac­ing seems to suit her.”

It was a good day for the O’Briens and Moore. Ai­dan O’Brien won the John Pearce Rac­ing Gor­don Stakes with Mogul, a slightly dis­ap­point­ing sixth in the Derby even though he had been Bal­ly­doyle’s “Derby horse” last win­ter.

How­ever, he was as big as a bull at Royal As­cot and this con­firmed he was still in need of his run in the Derby af­ter the 9-2 shot beat High­land Chief, the Derby 10th, three­quar­ters of a length.

The Gor­don was a war of at­tri­tion, with Sub­jec­tivist, the third, set­ting out to make it a stamina test. English King, who had looked a shade un­lucky in the Derby, may not be the luck­i­est horse in the world be­cause the gap closed on him just as Frankie Det­tori seemed to have a foot in it, and he fin­ished fourth.

“We always thought it would take two runs and we hoped he’d get that be­fore the Derby,” O’Brien snr said. “This was only his third run and we’re think­ing there’s still more to come. He’s built like a miler, he car­ries a lot of weight and mus­cle and he takes a while to tune up.”

Clive Cox won last year’s Qatar Rich­mond Stakes with Golden Horde, who went on to win the Com­mon­wealth Cup at As­cot this sum­mer, and it ap­pears there is noth­ing wrong with his pro­duc­tion line be­cause he did it again, this time with Supremacy, an 11-2 shot who won by four lengths.

With Nando Par­rado, the Coven­try win­ner, also in his sta­ble, Cox has a good bunch of ju­ve­niles. “He’s a tall, scopey horse with a long stride,” said winning jockey Adam Kirby. “He’s fast and he’s not just a horse for this year.”

By a neck: Ryan Moore rides Fancy Blue to vic­tory ahead of One Voice in the Qatar Nas­sau Stakes on day three of the Good­wood Fes­ti­val

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