Twilight Payment led home a one-two for Joseph O’Brien when completing back-to-back victories in the Comer Group International Curragh Cup at the County Kildare track.
The seven-year-old came home well clear of stablemate Master Of Reality – in the same ownership of Lloyd Williams – to register a fifth course success.
Declan McDonogh was content to let Memorabilis make the running before setting sail for home three furlongs out, with Twilight Payment (8-15 favourite) quickly putting the Group Two contest to bed, crossing the line eight lengths to the good.
“I think it was a big performance,” said O’Brien. “The horse that made the running is no slouch and this fella stayed going all the way to the line.
“This was our early-season target and we had the couple of races that would bring us to here. I suppose in the longer term the Irish Leger back here would be the target.
“It was a good run out of Master Of Reality again I thought. He’ll probably follow the same path, he hasn’t got many other options really.”
When asked if they could travel to Australia later in the year, he added: “They could, but obviously with everything that is going on it’s slightly up in the air.
“We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. Hopefully we will be able to go.”
Twilight Payment was given a quote of 40-1 with Paddy Power for the Melbourne Cup. He was a respectable 11th in the Flemington showpiece last November.
Mac Swiney reversed course and distance form with Wembley to open his account in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF (C&G) Maiden.
Wembley had finished third with Mac Swiney fifth to Hudson River when they made their debuts, but Jim Bolger’s charge got the better of their rematch after a good scrap, with the pair dominating proceedings throughout the seven-furlong heat.
Mac Swiney (15-2) gained superiority in the closing stages to score by a length and a half from the 4-9 favourite in the hands of Kevin Manning.
The trainer’s daughter Una Manning, wife of the winning jockey, said: “The boss is delighted with him – he’s his Derby horse. He’s from the family of Parish Hall (2011 Dewhurst Stakes winner) etc.
“He got a tap on the nose the last day from another jockey’s stick and that was what caused him to duck.
“We’re very happy with him. He hasn’t decided yet what he will do with him going forward, but obviously we’ll keep him and Poetic Flare (Naas winner in March) apart as he doesn’t believe in running two horses in the one race. He’s a fine, big horse.”
Sonnyboyliston (13-8 favourite) just got the better of Thundering Heights in a tight finish to the Sentinel Ireland Equine Products Handicap over a mile and a quarter.
The Johnny Murtagh-trained gelding got the verdict by a short head in the hands of 3lb claimer Ben Coen, with Lord Park a close third after being squeezed for room in the final strides.
“He’s progressing well. I thought he was a little bit unlucky at Navan the last time,” said Murtagh.
“Ben said he made his own bit of bad luck today as he wasn’t travelling through the race. When he got him to the outside he stayed on well and got the trip.
“I think it’s a good trip for him at the minute, but he might be a horse that gets a mile and a half in time.
“He’s only had five runs and is still learning. It’s onwards and upwards, but it’s going to get tougher for him as he goes along.”
Romantic Proposal (11-2) got up in the dying strides to nail British raider Gulliver in the Paddy Power Scurry Handicap.
Wayne Lordan produced Eddie Lynam’s four-year-old filly with a strong late bid to collar David O’Meara’s sprinter by a short head and continue the good run of owner Steve Parkin, of Clipper Logistics.
Blairmayne was a length and half away in third with Master Matt fourth.
“It was nice to get a nice win with her. It was the plan to go for one of these big races as we thought she was well enough handicapped and competitive. Plans seldom work, but this one did,” said Lynam.
“It’s nice to get a winner for Steve, who is a big supporter of mine. Between Leeds winning promotion from the Championship and Eagles By Day winning at York he’s having a good weekend.”