Fledgling trainer John O’Donoghue is excited to see what the rest of the season has in store for his Royal Ascot runner-up Pearling Path.
After previous stints as head lad to David O’Meara and assistant to Roger Varian, O’Donoghue returned to Ireland last year to take the lead at Currabeg Stables, formerly occupied by the great John Oxx.
Pearling Path provided O’Donoghue with his first juvenile winner at Fairyhouse last month before stepping up in class for Saturday’s curtain-raising Chesham Stakes.
And while the Holy Roman Emperor colt was a widely unconsidered 80-1 shot, he belied those odds with an excellent effort – looking likely to provide his trainer with a dream winner with his first Royal Ascot runner before being mowed down late by Karl Burke’s newcomer Holloway Boy.
O’Donoghue said: “He ran very well. He was the winner everywhere bar the line, which was quite hard to take, especially being beaten by something having its first run.
“We’re proud of ourselves. We backed the horse going over there. It’s a big thing to take a horse there in our first season and thankfully he did us proud.
“I would have put him at 10-1 or 12-1, that’s what price I was thinking he was going to be, certainly in the morning and then maybe drift out a bit. I thought 80-1 was silly really.”
O’Donoghue has given his charge the option of turning out quickly for the Railway Stakes at the Curragh on Saturday, but he appears set to bypass that engagement.
“It’s unlikely, I’d say. He travelled over (to Ascot) well and travelled home well and I just said I’d leave him him in to see how it looked,” the trainer added.
“We haven’t any plans in place. Our initial target was something at Royal Ascot. It could have been the Coventry, but we went for the Chesham as he was always going to be better over seven furlongs. There’s a bit of stamina there on the dam’s side.
“The world is our oyster really for the rest of the summer. My gut feeling would be to stick at seven furlongs, but we’ll see how he trains over the coming weeks.”