Donnacha O’Brien expecting ‘a big run’ from Shale in Irish 1,000 Guineas

Young trainer expecting improvement from former Moyglare winner’s comeback effort at Leopardstown

Donnacha O’Brien: “She would have really needed her first run a lot. My older ones were really taking a run and I was actually delighted with her. I’m expecting a big run from her at the Curragh.” Photograph: Peter Mooney/Inpho

Donnacha O’Brien: “She would have really needed her first run a lot. My older ones were really taking a run and I was actually delighted with her. I’m expecting a big run from her at the Curragh.” Photograph: Peter Mooney/Inpho

 

Donnacha O’Brien is anticipating a “big run” from his Group One winner Shale in what could turn out to be a family-dominated Tattersalls Irish 1,000 Guineas at the Curragh this Sunday.

O’Brien is chasing a first domestic classic success as a trainer with Shale who landed the Moyglare at the Curragh last year.

The 22-year-old former champion jockey rode Latrobe for his brother Joseph to win the 2018 Irish Derby when memorably getting the better of the next four home all trained by their father, Aidan.

Bookmakers aren’t dismissing the chances of the trio putting their stamp on Sunday’s fillies classic.

Paddy Power make the Ballydoyle hope Joan Of Arc their 15-8 favourite just ahead of Joseph’s big hope Pretty Gorgeous.

Shale finished behind Pretty Gorgeous in her final start last year but had previously got the better of the argument in the Moyglare and her trainer expects improvement from a comeback effort when only fifth at Leopardstown last month.

“She would have really needed her first run a lot. My older ones were really taking a run and I was actually delighted with her. I’m expecting a big run from her at the Curragh,” Donnacha O’Brien said.

He saddled his first classic winner last year when Fancy Blue was successful in the French Oaks.

The opening classic weekend of the year at the Curragh sees the 2,000 Guineas run on Saturday while last year’s star filly Love is on course to return to action in the following day’s Tattersalls Gold Cup.

The Curragh’s chief executive Pat Keogh said on Sunday a contract has been signed to have the embarrassing ‘whistling’ grandstand problem fixed by Irish Champions Weekend in September.

Perforations in the roof of the grandstand produce a distracting noise when the wind blows from a certain direction and the issue has already cropped up again this season.

Keogh said he is confident the issue will be sorted out by September.

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