Christmas produced a determined front-running performance to land the Listed Coolmore Caravaggio Stakes at Tipperary.
The Aidan O’Brien-trained Galileo colt was soon at the head of affairs in the hands of Donnacha O’Brien, as he sought to follow up his ready maiden success at Roscommon last month.
Highland Fortune brought the strongest form into the race, having been fourth in the Group Two Railway Stakes, and after taking a watching brief in fourth through the early stages, looked at one stage to be going better than the winner.
Fozzy Stack’s charge even appeared to edge in front inside the final furlong, but Christmas refused to buckle and, with the rail to help him, fought back for a neck success from his fellow 5-2 joint-favourite.
O’Brien said: “We were delighted because they all got a little sick and he was just ready to start back. He probably got a bit tired and there probably will be plenty improvement in him.
“What you’d like about him is he put his head down and he will turn into a lovely horse.
“He stays well and stuck his head down.”