Van Beethoven gave Aidan O’Brien his 13th victory in the GAIN Railway Stakes with a hard-fought success in the Group Two contest over six furlongs at the Curragh.
The Scat Daddy colt dug deep for Ryan Moore to hold the persistent challenge of the Mark Johnston-trained Marie’s Diamond.
O’Brien’s other runner, North Wind, ensured a good pace with Certain Lad and Marie’s Diamond close up in the early stages.
When Moore made his move on Norfolk Stakes fourth Van Beethoven it was covered by Silvestre de Sousa, but the 9-10 favourite just proved the stronger to get the verdict by half a length.
O’Brien said: “In an ideal world he might have preferred a stronger pace. Ryan said he was a little bit keen, but he galloped home. A stronger pace would have suited him better.
“He may come back here for the Phoenix and Sergei Prokofiev is there as well. Land Force may go to the July Meeting (at Newmarket).”
Moore said: “He’s a very good horse. At Ascot things didn’t quite work out for him and I think the step up to six furlongs today suited him.
“I still expect him to improve when he gets into a deeper contest. I think he’s better than what he’s showed today, he’s got an awful lot of ability and in a deeper contest you’ll see a better horse.”
RaceBets introduced Van Beethoven at 25-1 for next year’s 2000 Guineas.