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'This means a lot' - Donnacha O'Brien overjoyed by French Classic success

Donnacha O'Brien (left): a Classic-winning trainer at just 21
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As a jockey he is a dual 2,000 Guineas winner, an Irish Derby winner and an Oaks winner. Now, less than a year since securing his trainer's licence, he is a French Oaks winner.

After so much success already, it is hard to believe that Donnacha O'Brien is still just 21 years old.

Having conquered the riding world at such a young age, the youngest of the O'Brien clan opted to follow in his father and brother's footsteps and begin saddling his own runners.

With just his fourth victory he already has one over them as Fancy Blue landed the Prix de Diane – a race his familial rivals are yet to win.

Aidan and Donnacha O'Brien: banned for two weeks

Any Classic success is a huge buzz for a trainer, and although Donnacha had to make do with watching the landmark moment 1,000 kilometres away at Fairyhouse, the new kid on the block is loving life in the training ranks.

O'Brien said: "There's so much pressure and a lot of work goes into it, but this feeling is great and thank God she won."

"I've really enjoyed the training so far and if I keep getting horses who can run in big races like the French Oaks I will keep on enjoying it! This means a lot."

While Donnacha rejoiced, the win was a likely blow to the pride of older brother Joseph, who had to wait until his third year as a trainer to scoop a Classic victory.

Latrobe was the horse for the occasion, when landing the Irish Derby in 2018, but even then Donnacha can fondly recall that day as he was the one who guided him to glory.

Fancy Blue's victory makes it one apiece in the Classic battle between the O'Brien boys, who still have a long way to go before they can catch up with dad Aidan, who on Saturday enjoyed his 86th and 87th successes.

Joseph does hold a Melbourne Cup win over his family members, but with Donnacha making such a promising start it awaits to be seen how long it will be before he has his sights set on the race that stops the nation.


Read more:

Donnacha O'Brien outdoes his dad to land first Classic success in French Oaks

Ghaiyyath strikes in Eclipse as Enable goes down fighting

'He had it won in two strides' – Gosden's Mishriff powers home in French Derby


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I've really enjoyed the training so far and if I keep getting horses who can run in big races like the French Oaks I will keep on enjoying it!
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