Buckaroo booked a potential Irish 2,000 Guineas challenge as he got back to winning ways with a stylish victory in the Coolmore Arizona Irish EBF Tetrarch Stakes at the Curragh.
Beaten only a short head on his reappearance in the Group Three Ballysax Stakes, the drop back to a mile worked the oracle in this Listed event as the son of Fastnet Rock cruised stylishly into contention approaching the two-furlong pole and quickly put the race to bed when Shane Crosse pushed the button inside the final furlong.
The Joseph O’Brien-trained 15-8 favourite was pushed out for a cosy four-length success from Navan scorer Wexford Native and New Energy, who faded into third having attempted to make all.
The winner – who runs in the colours of Qatar Racing – is now likely to stay at a mile and was shortened to 14-1 from 33-1 with Betfair for the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot. Before that is likely to be a return to the Curragh later this month.
O’Brien said: “I was really happy with that. I took a bit of a chance coming back to a mile, but I thought he’d been working with plenty of pace, maybe more than I was giving him credit for in his earlier days.
“He looks like an Irish Guineas horse.
“He’s a big, strong, powerful horse and has quite a laid-back attitude. I discussed it with Sheikh Fahad and we decided to come here and find out if he was a Guineas horse.
“I see him as more of an eight to 10-furlong horse than a 10 to 12-furlong horse. He seems to be versatile ground-wise.”
O’Brien also had news of his globetrotting stable star State Of Rest, who won the Prix Ganay at ParisLongchamp on Sunday.
“He was really good and Shane gave him a great ride. He was caught three wide and managed to win,” he said.
“He’ll come back here (to the Curragh) for the Tattersalls Gold Cup.”