Up Helly Aa looks an exciting prospect after he got back to winning ways in the Listed Navigation Stakes at Cork.
The impeccably-bred son of Galileo, out of Group One-winning mare Fiesolana, had shaped very promisingly when second in the Group Three Meld Stakes at Leopardstown when last seen in July on just his third start.
Willie McCreery’s charge was the most inexperienced horse among Tuesday’s 13 runners and was facing older, seasoned campaigners – but his class won the day.
Held up towards the rear in the early stages of the extended mile contest by Billy Lee, Up Helly Aa (11-4 favourite) made smooth progress in the centre of the course.
He wore down Pincheck in the closing stages to get the verdict by a neck, with Laughifuwant a length and a quarter away in third place and the unlucky-in-running Amedeo Modigliani fourth.
McCreery said: “He is a Galileo, and he settles – and a mile or a mile and a quarter next year, I wouldn’t worry.
“The mare won the Matron over a mile, and this fellow will get stronger next year, I would hope.
“He is still only a baby but has a great mind, and he came down here and was looking around. I told Billy to give him a wake-up call going down, because he thought he was down here for an easy day out – but he learned a lot today, and I’m delighted he won.
“He finished lovely there. Billy was patient but had to force him out through a gap, and did everything well.
“He can step up next year, and has options now.”