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Maker Of Kings rules at Leopardstown

Maker Of Kings returned to winning form in first-time blinkers with an authoritative display in the Amethyst Stakes at Leopardstown.

Ger Lyons’ four-year-old was runner-up in the Irish Lincolnshire on his first start this season and was then a beaten odds-on favourite when he went down by a short head at Tipperary last month.

But he had no trouble with this rise in class to Group Three level, as the 7-1 winner under Colin Keane.

Maker Of Kings was soon up with the pace set by Raise You, then took over in the final two furlongs to assert by a length and a quarter – with Erzindjan staying on to get closest to him, a neck in front of 7-4 favourite Ace Aussie.

Lyons’ assistant and brother Shane said: “He’s a grand horse who ran well in the Lincoln. Colin said we should put headgear on, and it’s worked.

“He’s a fun horse for his owners. He loved the ground and will get further.

“We’ll probably put the headgear on and off. He just gets a bit lonely – and with the headwind today, it helped.”

Eaglefield gave trainer Jim Bolger and jockey Kevin Manning a winning start on the card as he got off the mark at the second attempt in the opening John R Fitzpatrick Agricultural Contractor Maiden.

The Gleneagles gelding was second on his Gowran debut over this same trip of seven furlongs just four days ago.

Eaglefield and Kevin Manning (right) on the way to winning the John R Fitzpatrick Agricultural Contractor Maiden
Eaglefield and Kevin Manning (right) on the way to winning the John R Fitzpatrick Agricultural Contractor Maiden (Brian Lawless/PA)

He proved he was ready to go again, though, sitting just behind Jeroboam and clear of the rest before collaring the long-time leader in the final furlong and then just having enough left to hold on from closers Baldomero and Emilie Gray by a neck and a head.

The line came just in time for the 13-8 favourite, for whom there do not appear to be any big plans just yet.

Bolger’s daughter Una Manning said: “You’d be happy with him – Kevin said they went a right gallop the whole way, and he battled well.

“I’m told we’ll see how the handicapper treats him and go from there.”

Later in the final two races, the imposing Sir William Bruce and The Mediterranean completed a four-timer for Aidan O’Brien and Ryan Moore.

The Ballydoyle trainer and jockey were responsible for a Group Three double as Bolshoi Ballet and Joan Of Arc posted resounding victories to signpost their respective big-race ambitions this season.

Sir William Bruce completed a Leopardstown treble for Ryan Moore and Aidan O'Brien
Sir William Bruce completed a Leopardstown treble for Ryan Moore and Aidan O’Brien (Brian Lawless/PA)

Then in the Cabinteely Handicap, Sir William Bruce got the better of his fellow three-year-olds too as he broke his duck on his handicap debut – and fourth career start.

Moore always had the 11-2 shot within striking distance before taking charge two furlongs out and staying on to hold on by a diminishing half length from Snowy Owl.

O’Brien said: “He’d a better run than it looked in Naas (beaten favourite in a maiden last month), because he had a very bad draw and hit a number of ridges down the back.

“He’s a grand horse, and anything from a mile and a quarter to a mile and a half would suit him. Ideally he’d prefer a more strongly-run race, but Ryan gave him a good ride and had him in a good position.

“We might go back for another handicap and give him time to progress.”

The Mediterranean had to battle hard to see off Ruling for victory in the closing Captain Dara Fitzpatrick Memorial Maiden by a length and a quarter as the 100-30 joint-favourite.

O’Brien said: “He’s a grand horse and we thought he’d come on plenty for it. We weren’t sure about the mile and a half as he was showing a bit of class at home, but he answered the question that he gets it.

“It was a good solid-run race so he would have learned a lot. There was no hiding place.”