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Donnacha O’Brien's dream year continues as Shale lands Moyglare

Sun 13 Sep 2020

Donnacha O’Brien’s Shale got the better of his brother Joseph’s Pretty Gorgeous in the Moyglare Stud Stakes at the Curragh.

The two fillies have clashed three times now this season, with Shale currently holding the upper hand with two victories to one.

Pretty Gorgeous was sent off the 11-10 favourite having comprehensively outpointed Shale when they last met in the Debutante Stakes.

Watch Shale and Pretty Gorgeous fight out the finish

Shale (9-2) had two and a half lengths to find with Pretty Gorgeous, but was always in the right place under Ryan Moore.

Declan McDonogh had Pretty Gorgeous close enough if she was good enough and the two of them had a real battle inside the final furlong.

But try as she might Pretty Gorgeous could not get past, and Shale provided her young trainer with another Group One at such an early stage of his career.

A daughter of Galileo, Shale was cut to 12-1 from 20s for next year’s 1000 Guineas by Betfair.

Donnacha O'Brien talks to Kevin O'Ryan about Shale's victory

“It was a lovely performance. She was one of the first off the bridle and at halfway I didn’t think she was going to do anything, but she found plenty for pressure,” said O’Brien.

“She was always a nice filly, but wasn’t one we thought would be capable of winning a Moyglare at the start of the year – she’s kept progressing the whole way.

“Her last run was good and Joseph’s filly is very classy, they are two very good fillies.”

O’Brien – who has won Group Ones in Ireland, Britain and France this year, his first with a licence – added: “Speaking to Ryan it will either be the Fillies’ Mile or France (for the Prix Marcel Boussac) next. It’s not been a bad first year!

“Fancy Blue ran very well in the Matron on Saturday, I wasn’t deflated she got beat – I probably shouldn’t have run in hindsight because I expected the ground to be soft but the rain never came. I thought she did very well to finish third.”

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