Midas Touch staked his claim for Classic honours when giving Aidan O’Brien his eighth success in the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial at Leopardstown.
The son of 2001 winner Galileo came from last to first under a confident ride from Johnny Murtagh to beat fellow 2-1 joint-favourite Address Unknown by two lengths.
The winner’s stablemate At First Sight took the four-strong field along at a good pace from Reiteration, with Address Unknown going on over a furlong out.
But Murtagh had the move covered and Midas Touch quickened into the lead to score in cosy fashion.
Midas Touch was cut to 14-1 from 25-1 for the Investec Derby at Epsom month by William Hill, while Victor Chandler go 12s and Coral 16s.
“He finished the race very well and I believe it was a good time so I am delighted with it,” said O’Brien.
“It was his first run and he was just ready to come and start, he’ll come on a good bit.
“It was a very true-run race, At First Sight was very green in front the last day but today he went a good, even pace and you would have to be very happy with the result.
“The horses have been very behind but we are getting there. Midas Touch was going to go for the Dante, but when Mikhail Glinka got injured we decided to come here.”
Dermot Weld was far from downcast after the effort of second-placed Address Unknown, offering a telling insight into the merit of the Group Two event, which has a rich recent history.
“It was a very good race and was won in a second faster time than Fame And Glory last year,” Weld said.
“Our horse is a big colt who will appreciate some ease in the ground and he has been beaten by a very good horse.
“Pat Smullen said it is as good a Derby trial as will be run. He said he came to win the race and was just beaten by a very good horse.”