Armory proved a class above his rivals as he made a successful start to his campaign in the Melodi Media Huxley Stakes at Chester, with a step back up to the highest level next on the agenda.
The Galileo colt brought some top-class form to the table from last season, having finished fourth in the Irish 2,000 Guineas and the Tattersalls Gold Cup, third in the Irish Champion Stakes and second to former stablemate Sir Dragonet in the Cox Plate in Australia.
He was the 6-5 favourite to provide trainer Aidan O’Brien with a third victory in this Group Two contest – and after settling at the rear of the four-strong field for much of the race, quickly found top gear under Ryan Moore in the straight to leave his rivals toiling.
Sangarius filled the runner-up spot, beaten three lengths by the impressive winner.
O’Brien said: “We were delighted. He’s really matured.
“I suppose what he has is an unbelievable turn of foot, which is a great thing in a horse because you don’t mind if they go fast or they go slow, as he quickens very well.
“He’s done very well over the winter, he had a lovely run in Australia last year but things didn’t really work out for him so we’re delighted.
“We were thinking after this he might go for the Tattersalls Gold Cup or the Prince of Wales’s, but probably the Prince of Wales’s.
“He has plenty of pace, but we always thought he’d get 10 furlongs – when you have a horse who quickens like that it’s a bonus, and Ryan gave him a lovely ride.”
Moore said: “I was very happy with him. He was a high-class two-year-old.
“He has form on soft ground, but when it’s quicker he can show his turn of foot. It was a steady race today, a messy race but he’s got a really good change of gear.
“He’s very talented. I don’t know what the plan but he’s won a Group Two there and he’s already been second in a Cox Plate, (so) he’s entitled to take his place at a higher level.”