O'Brien shares in Monterosso's Dubai World Cup win


Not even in his wildest dreams could trainer Danny O'Brien have imagined what the future held for a filly he bought for $70,000 at the 1998 Sydney Easter sales.

Subsequently named Porto Roca, one of O'Brien's first yearling buys would prove pivotal in his fledgling career.

Porto Roca, pictured here with O'Brien, graduated from a debut win at Kilmore to give O'Brien his first Group 1 success when she won the Coolmore Classic.

She would later add the Group 1 Winter Stakes before O'Brien and his co-owners sold her as a broodmare for a seven-figure sum.

The Porto Roca story became a lot bigger yesterday when her foal, Monterosso, won the $10 million Dubai World Cup for Sheik Mohammed, the man who stumped up $27 million for the world's richest race meeting.

Monterosso, formerly trained by Mark Johnston before Godolphin bought him after he won the Group 2 King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot, provided trainer Mahmood Al Zarooni and Mickael Barzalona with their greatest triumphs.

While there was none of the $6.5 million to share in, O'Brien certainly felt part of the triumph.

O'Brien has tracked Monterosso through winning a nondescript maiden at Lingfield to his King Edward VII win to a creditable fourth in the Irish Derby to a third in last year's Dubai World Cup.

"She (Porto Roca) has got a place in my heart. She was one of the first yearlings I bought and she was my first Group 1 winner," O'Brien said.

"To see her go on and breed a Dubai World Cup winner is great. It seems a long way from buying one of your first yearlings for 70 grand."

Story by Adrian Dunn, to view full Herald Sun full story click here

Photo by Tony Lewis and appears courtesy of HWT Image Library

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