Home Horse Racing France Fancy Blue gives Donnacha O’Brien perfect start in Qatar Nassau

Fancy Blue gives Donnacha O’Brien perfect start in Qatar Nassau


22-year-old trainer claims maiden British Group 1 win with first runner

French Classic heroine Fancy Blue was all guts as she stuck on well to claim the Qatar Nassau Stakes in a pulsating finish on day three of the Qatar Goodwood Festival.

The victory was made all the more noteworthy by being young trainer Donnacha O’Brien’s first Group 1 win in the UK as a trainer.

The betting market pre-race had spoken for another Coolmore inmate, Magic Wand, who had been heavily backed into favouritism throughout the day.

Magic Wand was sent for the lead straight from the gates under Frankie Dettori, setting an even gallop all the way into the home straight.

Frankie then began to push on the favourite, kicking a length-and-a-half clear three furlongs out. She wasn’t out on her own for long however as her rivals closed up quickly on the leader, causing the field to bunch.

Heading into the final furlong Fancy Blue poked her head in front and Ryan Moore began to assert a lead. Magic Wand’s efforts began to weaken and it was clear the dangers would be coming from the back of the pack.

Deirdre and Nazeef, well-fancied in the run up to the race, never managed to land a blow. It was 20/1 outsider One Voice under in-form rider Tom Marquand who came the challenge late.

The duo arriving with a  powerful looking charge on the run to the line;  but they only managed to get within a neck of the eventual winner who always appeared to be doing enough in the closing stages.

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