Hemingway shows class
The Galway track has in the past seen the unveiling of some special talents such as the Belmont Stakes winner, Go And Go, and the Irish Oaks heroine, Dance Design, but last night the Aidan O'Brien newcomer Hemingway looked to have similar potential.
The 500,000 guineas half-brother to the Group One winning two-year-old Second Empire could hardly have won the GPT maiden any easier and made most of the running to win by seven lengths.
"Very impressed. He has plenty of ability," was Michael Kinane's verdict and O'Brien didn't hesitate to nominate Hemingway for the route taken by the top-class Giants Causeway last year.
"We'll look at the Prix de la Salamandre and maybe the Futurity at the Curragh before that," said the Ballydoyle trainer, who won the same maiden with the subsequent Group One-winner Aristotle last year.
"He's got lots of speed and lots of class as well as being a mature sort of colt and I think he can step into Group company at any time," O'Brien added of the 2 to 7 favourite.
O'Brien indirectly missed out on the 12-furlong handicap as the horse he used to train, Chimes At Midnight, rallied to beat Carmels Gift by a head just two days after finishing third in the Meld Stakes at the Curragh.
Permit holder Luke Comer paid out £46,000 sterling for Chimes At Midnight and the Glennamaddy-born trainer declared: "This is my All-Ireland! And my colours are the Galway colours too."
The big-race winner Pat Hughes doubled up in the mile handicap when Silver Spray held off On Your Marks by a neck and in the process put paid to a gamble on the Dermot Weld-trained Initial Figure who finished 10th. Besides Hemingway, it was a disastrous night for favourite backers who saw Courageous eclipsed in the handicap hurdle behind Clever Consul.
Norman Williamson was at his best on Tony Martin's horse and the winning trainer described the jockey's effort as "a brilliant ride". Clever Consul was another winner to snatch a neck verdict, this time from Wonder Will He.
Tango Pasion was a 14 to 1 winner of the opener and the punters' fate was summed up in the bumper as Aunt Aggie, travelling like a winner on the turn in, faded dramatically on the rain-softened ground behind the Christy Roche-trained Rightontime.
Amateur jockey Tom Magnier, son of Coolmore Stud supremo John Mangier, couldn't ride his mother's horse Buffalo Bill in the last race because he was too heavy.
Buffalo Bill was scheduled to carry 11.7 but Magnier weighed in at 16lbs overweight and the stewards would not sanction the ride.
Aidan O'Brien said he nominated Magnier on the understanding he would be able to ride at 11.10 or near. The stewards cautioned O'Brien to ensure in future he nominates riders that can do the correct weight.