Fancy That! 22-year-old Donnacha O’Brien lands top honours in Nassau Stakes

News | 30th July 2020

Young trainer Donnacha O'Brien wins the Group 1 Qatar Nassau Stakes with stable star Fancy Blue; his first ever runner in Great Britain


While most 22-year-olds are just taking the first steps in their professional career, trainer Donnacha O’Brien has already achieved what most in his profession can wait a lifetime to conquer. 

The former Irish Champion jockey Is used to to competing at the top table, but even he could not have imagined such success quite so early on in his nascent training career.

Donnacha, much like his father Aidan and older brother Joseph, stayed humble despite the enormity of his success. He commented, “It’s unbelievable that I have a filly like her in my first year. People go a lifetime without getting a filly like her. I am under no illusions as to how lucky I am.”

Fancy Blue showed a very willing attitude under her rider Ryan Moore to hold off the late challenge from 20/1 chance One Voice and Tom Marquand to win by a neck.

Donnacha O’Brien retired as a jockey in November 2019; his career in the saddle brought major success, including nine Group 1 wins and four Classic victories.

His career out of the saddle seems destined to be as littered with success as his previous career. It’ll be fascinating to see how far he and his star filly, Fancy Blue, can go in just their first year together.

Here’s the reaction to the momentous day in a young trainer’s career.