Shale rocks Pretty Gorgeous to land Donnacha's third Group 1

Donnacha's filly beats brother Joseph's for the second time in three tussles

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Shale pushed past progressive rival Pretty Gorgeous and bagged brotherly bragging rights for Donnacha O’Brien in the Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes at Longines Irish Champions Weekend.

It was another top-level triumph to toast in a dream debut training season for Donnacha, who has now won Group 1 races in Ireland, Britain and France. 

Donnacha said: “It was a lovely performance

“She was first off the bridle but found a lot under pressure and toughed it out.

“She’s progressed through the season, she was always a nice filly but wasn’t one we thought would be capable of winning over a mile.

“It’s not been a bad first season.”

The two-year-old fillies have an emerging rivalry and it was revenge for Shale after she was beaten at Group 2 level by Pretty Gorgeous at the Curragh last month, writes Tom Harle. 

Shale won their first head-to-head, a Group 3 at Leopardstown in August, and no more than two and a half lengths has separated the pair in three tussles. 

The pair came to the front more or less off the bridle with Pretty Gorgeous taking the outside line, but Ryan Moore pushed her on enough not to be unduly challenged. 

Donnacha revealed the next target for Shale will either be the Fillies Mile at Newmarket or Prix Marcel Boussac at Longchamp later in the year, up against the top fillies in Europe

It was a timely boost for O’Brien after Fancy Blue, responsible for victories at Prix de Diane and Nassau Stakes, only managed third in the Group 1 Matron Stakes at Leopardstown yesterday. 

“I shouldn’t have run her really,” he said. “We needed the ground to be soft but the rain never came. I wasn’t deflated though, I thought she ran well for third.”

It's not been a bad first season

- Donnacha O'Brien

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