Debut Season For O'Brien Not What He Expected


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Donnacha O'Brien

Donnacha O'Brien is the youngest trainer in the sport and in his rookie season it has really been very different to what he thought it would be like, with the actual flat season up in the air due to the current on going Coronavirus pandemic.

The 21 year old was planning on unleashing some of his team in Ireland over the coming weeks with a strong and fresh crop of two year olds that could turn out to have star quality and overall it has been a very strange time for the ex jockey.

(Credit Racing Post)"It is strange, very strange. But, to be perfectly honest, everything was always going to be strange for me. I not doing anything I did last year so it's all strange to me anyway," expressed the trainer.

Donnacha O'Brien got off the mark with his first winner in his time as a trainer when taking a Fillies Maiden with Flower Garland back in February at Dundalk on the all weather.

(Credit Racing Post) O'Brien said: "My routine and the whole routine of everybody here has stayed the same through all this. From my point of view I'm up at 5.30am and straight to the yard. We finish up riding out at around 12.30pm and grab some lunch. Back to work then and I would usually be finished up by around 3pm. It's the same every day for me. Nothing has changed.

"We have 35 horses riding out every day, and we are planning for racing to return in three or four weeks. Whether that will happen or not I don't know, but we have to plan for that. There is no point in racing starting back if not all of our team are ready for it so we need to be ready.

"I know every trainer always praises their staff, but mine are terrific. They really are. We only have a small group, but I'd be lost without them, especially in times like these."

The new trainer added: "The one thing I have had to do is back off a few of our two-year-olds. I had three that I wanted to kick on with early, but I have had to back off them and put them on the same programme as the ones who will appear in the middle part of the season.

"I do think there are a few nice two-year-olds there, and there are one or two in particular I'm excited about, but we have not been dropping down to have a look under the bonnet yet so I'm only guessing. You'd be hoping one or two of them are nice, though."

The horse that is said to currently take the eye in his ever growing yard is Fancy Blue, who currently holds a 1000 Guineas entry at Newmarket and could land the youngster the first classic of his up and coming career.

Talking the filly up, O'Brien said: "Fancy Blue is in great form. She's done very well over the winter and got a lot stronger. I wouldn't say she's grown a lot but she has filled out a lot if that makes sense. Her work was really good, but I've backed off her a bit leading up to the last few week.

"I know they're saying there's a chance racing will return in England in May so, if it does, we will have to have her ready to go. That's what we're aiming at for the moment anyway."


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