Aidan O'Brien clinched the Juddmonte Beresford Stakes for a remarkable 13th time at the Curragh as the exciting Geoffrey Chaucer continued his progress with a comfortable victory.
The one-mile Group Two event has an illustrious roll of honour having been won by the likes of Alamshar (2002), Azamour (2003), Sea The Stars (2008) and O’Brien’s St Nicholas Abbey and the latest number one contender from Ballydoyle was a heavily backed 4 to 7 favourite following a debut win at Leopardstown.
Partnered by the trainer’s son Joseph, Geoffrey Chaucer was settled in behind rivals until being unleashed to challenge the front-running All Set To Go.
Despite obvious signs of inexperience, the Montjeu colt gradually got on top and was good value for his winning margin of a length and a quarter.
It was a one-two for the Ballydoyle team, with Oklahoma City coming through to grab the runner-up spot.
Coral cut Geoffrey Chaucer to 14 to 1 from 20 to 1 for next year’s Epsom Derby and he is now set for a step up to Group One level at Doncaster on October 26th.
O’Brien Snr said: “He didn’t learn much the first day and we were hoping there’d be more pace today, which there was.
“He learned nothing in front the first day, but I’d say he learned plenty today and he was still a bit green when he hit the front.
“If everything goes to plan, he’ll go to Doncaster for the Racing Post Trophy.”
Another horse with potential Classic aspirations is the John Oxx-trained My Titania, who claimed Group Three honours in the CL Weld Park Stakes.
The first foal of Oxx's incredible colt Sea The Stars to wear the same colours of owner Christopher Tsui, the 11 to 10 favourite had to be kept up to her work by Declan McDonogh to fend off the challenge of Chicago Girl by half a length.
Oxx said: “She’s a very nice filly and we’ve high hopes for her. She’s by Sea The Stars and she’s his first Group winner. It’s very nice he’s had his first Group winner in those colours and that we have such a nice filly for the future.
“She won’t run any more this year. She’s had three runs now and she’s pretty sharp in her mind and very alert.
“If all goes well through the winter and the spring, we’ll probably enter her in the English Guineas and in the Oaks at Epsom.”
The O’Brien-trained odds-on favourite Guerre had to make do with the runner-up spot in the Listed Anglesey Lodge Equine Hospital Blenheim Stakes as Paul Deegan’s Shining Emerald (7 to 2) turned in a brilliant display.
Deegan said: “I’m absolutely delighted with him. He quickened well and put it to bed well. He’s smart.
“Hopefully he will go now for the Killavullan Stakes (Leopardstown, October 26th).”
Dermot Weld’s Tested (5 to 1) made a most impressive start to her career with a debut victory in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Fillies Maiden.
Weld said: “She’s definitely a Stakes filly. It was a bit rough early on and she got buffeted about a bit, but Pat took his time and got her balanced.
“I doubt I’ll run her again this year, because unquestionably she’s a Group class filly for next year.
“I think she’ll learn an awful lot from it (the run), but she has natural talent and that will carry her a long way.”
Tommy Stack and Wayne Lordan combined to take the Mongey Communications Joe McGrath Handicap with 10 to 1 shot Nero Emperor, while trainer-jockey Johnny Murtagh took the Irish Times Handicap with 4 to 1 favourite Campanology.