Gustavus Weston made virtually all to reclaim his title in the Rathasker Stud Phoenix Sprint Stakes at the Curragh.
Joe Murphy’s charge won the six-furlong event in 2019 and was sent off a 7-2 chance this time in the hands of Gary Carroll, with British raider Light Refrain the 6-4 favourite.
Gustavus Weston was sharply away for Carroll and he was happy to settle on the front end with the five-year-old, who got into a nice rhythm in the early exchanges before pushing on for the finish.
Power Under Me was on his heels, but Gustavus Weston keep going all the way to the line, recording a two-and-a-quarter-length win, with A Case Of You beaten a nose in third.
Light Refrain never looked like challenging on the outside, eventually finishing fifth.
Murphy’s sights are now firmly set on next month’s Betfair Sprint Cup at Haydock, for which Gustavus Weston is an unchanged 12-1 shot with the sponsors.
He said: “That’s a stepping stone to Haydock on September 4. Then we might come back for the Flying Five here and maybe the Abbaye.
“That was a very good performance and the time was good.
“We’ve found the key to him. He’s a more relaxed horse now and he’s stronger. He keeps on improving all the time.
“It’s amazing, since we’ve put him into a big stable on his own – he has a whole barn to himself – he’s just thrived. It’s amazing how little things like that can make a difference.
“That’s the thing with horses, whether they can sing or not, you have to get the voice out.
“We have to make him sing and he’s giving us memories that will last a lifetime.”
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