Crypto Force came home best to end Aidan O’Brien’s stranglehold on the Alan Smurfit Memorial Beresford Stakes at the Curragh on Saturday.
The Ballydoyle handler has saddled a staggering 21 previous winners of the juvenile Group Two, including each of the last 11.
With previous course scorer Continuous a non-runner, O’Brien this year relied on Adelaide River, a winner on his Dundalk debut before finishing second in a Group Three in France earlier in the month.
Ridden by Wayne Lordan, the 4-7 favourite attempted to make every yard of the running, but ultimately had no answer to the finishing kick of the Michael O’Callaghan-trained Crypto Force.
The £900,000 purchase beat Adelaide River’s Group Two-winning stablemate Auguste Rodin on his introduction at the Curragh at the start of June, but was subsequently well held in the Chesham Stakes at Royal Ascot.
However, stepping up to a mile for the first time, the Time Test colt travelled smoothly on Adelaide River’s tail in the hands of Colin Keane before pulling two and a quarter lengths clear at the line.
Coral make Crypto Force a 33-1 shot for next year’s Qipco 2,000 Guineas, while he is 25-1 with the same firm for the Derby at Epsom.
“That’s massive. I’m delighted for Kia Joorabchian and Amo Racing [owners]. He’s been a big supporter of mine this year and he’s let me go to the breeze-ups and buy some nice horses,” said O’Callaghan.
“They cost plenty of money. I bought this lad myself and when he won his maiden I told Kia he was going to the London Sale and to be fair to him he didn’t force me to sell him to him at home.
“I brought him to the sale and he paid a lot of money for him. The pressure was very much on me from that point on and it was a massive kick in the guts at Ascot, it just wasn’t to be and he just needed that bit more time.
“To be fair Kia has been very patient. It’s 98 days since Ascot but I just wanted to wait. He’s a very exciting horse for next year.
“He’ll have no problem getting a mile and a quarter, but on better ground he’ll have that bit more pace. Colin said he could make up into a Guineas horse over the winter.
“He’s got the job done today and he’s taken a bit of pressure off me after him costing so much, to a man I owe a lot to. I’m just delighted for him and he deserves it because he puts a lot into racing.”