Perseverance paid off in spades for Luxembourg as he secured another Group One prize in the Curragh’s Tattersalls Gold Cup on Sunday.
Under a Ryan Moore ride described as a “masterclass” by Aidan O’Brien, the 11-4 shot made all to beat off the unlucky English raider Bay Bridge by half a length.
It was a third career Group One for Luxembourg, who landed the Futurity as a two-year-old and last year’s Irish Champion Stakes.
Scoring at the top-level three seasons in a row is a rare accomplishment and reflective of the regard in which O’Brien’s team have always held the son of Camelot.
If his Classic campaign got compromised by injury, his latest success opens up a top-flight route for the rest of the season in circumstances that have conspired to produce a vintage older-horse division.
“There are a lot of good horses in the division,” Moore acknowledged afterwards. “I know Bay Bridge is a good horse, I’m not quite sure what happened to Vadeni today (11-8 favourite) but I know he’s a good horse.
“You’ve got Adayar, Hukum and Desert Crown, so a lot of good horses. But I’d say that was my horse’s best performance today so hopefully he can back it up and find more,” he added.
Vadeni was found to be coughing post-race and a small drop of blood in his nostril was also observed by veterinary officials.
Luxembourg has had his own share of veterinary examinations in his career but appears to have matured into the real deal.
“He’s a very, very serious horse. He’s not for kids, he’s a hardy customer. He’s tough and has loads of class,” O’Brien said afterwards.
“When a horse is happy to make the running, they are very independent and you are not at the mercy of anybody. Ryan guided him through all the fractions,” he added.
It was a second Group One in 24 hours for the Ballydoyle team following Paddington’s impressive success in Saturday’s 2,000 Guineas.
That was a 98th European Classic for O’Brien and his team calculated that Luxembourg brought up a notable landmark in becoming the trainer’s 400th career Group/Grade One success.
It includes top-flight National Hunt victories in the 1990s with stars such as Istabraq for the man who took out his licence to train 30 years ago.
O’Brien and Moore were also on the mark in the opening juvenile maiden with Matrika, while Drumroll deservedly got the Group Three Heider Gallinule Stakes in the stewards room.
The 4-5 favourite was a short head behind Teutates at the line but the latter had veered left into his rival, bumping him three times, and carried Drumroll significantly off a straight line.
Teutates’ jockey Gavin Ryan subsequently received a two-day suspension.
When his original mount was scratched for the fillies’ maiden, Moore switched to High Chieftess. who completed a four-timer on the day for Ballydoyle.
Separately, Just Beautiful made all to win the Group Two Lanwades Stud Stakes for Billy Lee and Paddy Twomey.