Donnacha's delight as he lands French Oaks with Fancy Blue


Irish 1-2-3 with Jessica Harrington and Aidan O'Brien's charge filling the places

Sunday, July 05, 2020
Fancy Blue Chantilly

Fancy Blue was second in the Irish 1000 Guineas but the tables to win the French Oaks at Chantilly


Donnacha O'Brien won four Classics as a jockey and just months into his training career has banked another, writes James Toney.

No Irish-trained horse had ever won the €322,553 Prix de Diane at Chantilly but Donnacha's charge Fancy Blue led home Jessica Harrington's Coronation Stakes winner Alpine Star and father Aidan's Irish 1000 Guineas champion Peaceful in a 1-2-3 for Ireland.

Arc-winning rider Pierre-Charles Boudot judged the finish to perfection to edge out Stephane Pasquier on Harrington's charge and Seamie Heffernan on the Curragh winner.

"The heart rate is starting to settle but that was some race," said O'Brien, 21, after banking his first Group One winner.

"She's a great filly that I'm very lucky to have and Pierre gave her an absolute peach of a ride. We used the Irish Guineas as a nice prep to one of the Oaks and she was very eye-catching and came out of the race well."

Asked about a possible showdown with Ballydoyle’s Love, who triumphed in yesterday's Oaks at Epsom, back in France at Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, O'Brien was cautious - but certainly didn't say no.

"We're looking forward to the rest of the season now and we'll start the make some plans now," he said.

"She seems to handle travelling and that's a very positive sign for the future, so that's not impossible."

Donnacha's O'Brien's Classics as a jockey

2018: Forever Together, Epsom Oaks
2018: Latrobe, Irish Derby
2018: Saxon Warrior, 2000 Guineas
2019: Magna Grecia, 2000 Guineas

Donnacha's O'Brien's Classics as a trainer

2020: Fancy Blue, Prix de Diane

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