Viscount Nelson will next step into Group company after his workmanlike triumph in the Listed Coolmore Hurricane Run Stakes at Tipperary.
Bred for greatness, being by Giant’s Causeway and out of Oaks winner Imagine, the colt took time to hit top gear under Johnny Murtagh, who had jetted in after finishing second on Black Bear Island in the Secretariat Stakes on Saturday evening in America.
Murtagh was given a lead into the straight by Bobbyscot and while Viscount Nelson did not pick up immediately for pressure, a few taps with the persuader made him go about his job in a professional manner.
Aidan O’Brien’s charge eventually went away at the finish to record a half-length success from the long-time leader.
William Hill cut the winner into 20-1 from 25s for next year’s 2000 Guineas, and introduced him into their Derby betting at 25-1.
“I’m delighted with that. He’s like his mum and dad in that when he gets to the front he doesn’t do a whole lot,” said O’Brien.
“He’s a very good-moving horse and he absolutely hated that ground (soft, heavy in places).
“We will step him up to Group company now. The Futurity Stakes at Fairyhouse at the end of the month is a possibility.”
Perfect Polly won a thrilling renewal of the Abergwaun Stakes under a fine ride from Fran Berry.
Sent off the 2-1 second favourite, Berry got a fine tune out of the Efisio filly to deny Snaefell, the 7-4 market leader, by a neck.
Winning trainer James Ryan said: “We’ll see how she comes out of the race before we make any plans for her.
“Ideally she needs six furlongs and she had a hard enough race there.
“She is a lovely filly and the lead pony is a great help to her.”
Michael Hickey’s Hawthorne (20-1) made a very pleasing introduction when taking the Mocklershill Stables Maiden.
Despite his chunky odds, he showed his rivals a clean pair of hooves to give the fledgling handler a first winner on the level.
“My son, Paul, bought this horse as a breeze-up sale horse, but he was left over after the Craven Sale in Newmarket,” said Hickey.
“Paul spent three years with Aidan O’Brien and most of the credit for this win should go to him.
“He was going very nicely at home but it was very hard to judge what we had.”
Santo Padre provided David Marnane and Colm O’Donoghue with victory in the West Tipperary Mental Health Association Handicap.
Sent on over a furlong out, it proved a race-winning move by O’Donoghue as Just For Mary came with a rare rattle late on down the outside.
Unfortunately for his backers, the runner-up got going all too late as Santo Padre (6-1) held on for a neck call.
Marnane said: “He deserved that. He wants better ground and he hasn’t had it all year – that’s the best ground he’s got all season.
“He may go to Dundalk next Saturday, depending on how he comes out of this.”
Doorock ran out an easy winner of the Derrinstown Stud Apprentice Handicap.