January 23, 2021

Fancy Blue lands Nassau glory

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Fancy Blue fended off fellow Irish raider One Voice to win the Qatar Nassau Stakes at Goodwood.

Trained by Donnacha O’Brien, Fancy Blue gave the young handler a landmark first Classic success when lifting the Prix de Diane on her most recent start and she added to those gains with a gutsy performance.

Magic Wand, trained by O’Brien’s father, Aidan, set a steady pace up front and Fancy Blue sat on her heels throughout before Ryan Moore gave her the signal to go on.

Magic Wand, who was sent off the 9-4 favourite, tried to go with the winner, but she was a spent force, with One Voice emerging as Fancy Blue’s main rival in the final furlong.

However, Fancy Blue (11-4) was just too strong in the finish, prevailing by a neck, with the strong-finishing Nazeef back in third.

Making it even more special for the 22-year-old O’Brien was the fact Fancy Blue was a first runner in Britain for his stable.

He said: “We were very happy with her coming into the race. Her work had been really good, she was in fantastic form and everything had gone perfectly to plan, so we were full of confidence.

“We’ll give her a little break now as she’s had a busy start to the year and there’s not much for her for a few weeks.

“We might look at Irish Champions Weekend, whether that’s going back to a mile for the Matron Stakes or running in the Irish Champion Stakes, we’ll see.

“After that we’ll probably go on to Arc weekend, where she could run in either the Prix de l’Opera or the Arc itself.

“After that it will either be the Breeders’ Cup or there is a race for her in Japan in the middle of November – the Queen Elizabeth, I think it is. It’s a race for big money and she gets a bonus for that after winning the Prix de Diane.

“I’m sure the Japanese people would love to see her (as a daughter of Deep Impact). I know from when I was riding Saxon Warrior (a son of Deep Impact) he got a good following from the Japanese fans and it was somewhere I always wanted to go.

“We’re not really sure what’s going on in America and what will happen to the Breeders’ Cup, but they’re the options we’re looking at.”