Jessica Harrington’s Cadillac returned to action with a gutsy success over Dawn Patrol in the ARM Holding International Stakes at the Curragh.
Having raced in top-class company as a juvenile, Cadillac had not been seen since running creditably at the Breeders’ Cup.
Beaten half a length by subsequent Irish Guineas winner Mac Swiney in the Futurity Stakes, he went on to win on Irish Champions Weekend – booking his ticket for America – before finishing fifth in the Dewhurst.
He lost little in defeat in the Juvenile Turf, coming home fourth of 14 and Harrington was keen to given him plenty of time to get over those exertions.
Cadillac (9-4) seemed to have most to fear from Willie Mullins’ True Self but having seen off her attentions close home, it was Joseph O’Brien’s Dawn Patrol who threw down the last challenge to Shane Foley’s mount.
He spent last year running over staying distances and was sixth in both the St Leger and the Long Distance Cup at Ascot, but he displayed a smart turn of foot over this 10 furlongs, only failing by a short head.
Harrington said: “I thought he was beaten. I’m delighted for the horse as things didn’t go his way last autumn and to come back now, having had a bit of a setback earlier in the spring, is fantastic.
“We’ll try to win a Group One with him. He may have one more run and then go for the Irish Champion Stakes. He loves Leopardstown.
“He’s a proper horse to do that on his first run of the year. He had to squeeze through and do all the things he hadn’t done before.”