Donnacha O'Brien dreaming of Derby glory with Proud And Regal

Fri 12 Aug 2022

Proud And Regal has Donnacha O’Brien dreaming he could be a Derby horse next year, following his latest success.

A son of 2001 Epsom hero Galileo, Proud And Regal is already as short as 20-1 for next season’s mile-and-a-half Classic after backing up his Curragh maiden victory with another in the Group Three Tyros Stakes at Leopardstown.

That form was given a boost when runner-up Hellsing took a Listed contest at Tipperary last week.

Out of the Danehill mare Simply Perfect, who won both the Fillies’ Mile and Falmouth Stakes, Proud And Regal is bred in the purple.

His Ballyroe handler is set to keep the colt – jointly owned by Coolmore partners Derrick Smith, John Magnier, Michael Tabor and Georg von Opel’s Westerberg operation – at seven furlongs for the Galileo Irish EBF Futurity Stakes at The Curragh.

Watch how Proud And Regal won the Tyros Stakes when last seen

O’Brein said: “He is a lovely colt and it was very pleasing what he did the last day. Hopefully there is a lot more progress to come from him. We are excited by him.

“The plan at the minute is to go to the Futurity on Saturday week. We will take it one step at a time and see how that goes, and then make a plan after that.

“He has a very good middle-distance pedigree, so if you have a horse who is a seven-furlong horse, a Group horse like him, you would be dreaming that he could be a Derby horse, but there is still a long way to go.”

O’Brein also confirmed Ballysax Stakes winner and Irish Derby runner-up Piz Badile will have one more run this season after being given a break.

Supplemented for the Grand Prix de Paris last month, things did not go according to plan at ParisLongchamp, where he finished a disappointing last of six to Onesto.

His sire, Ulysses, was better with time, winning both the Eclipse and Juddmonte International as a four-year-old, and O’Brien is hoping he will mature in similar vein.

Though he holds an entry in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, his trainer says he is unlikely to take up that engagement.

“Piz Badile got a little break after his last race at Longchamp,” said O’Brien.

“We think he is going to make a lovely horse next year. He is back in light work now, so we might get another run into him at the end of this year, but there is no specific target next year.

“I don’t think he will go to the Arc. We will take it slowly with him and look for a stakes race at the end of the year and then look to next year.”

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