Voce Del Palio claimed a surprise victory in the lucrative Irish EBF Ballyhane Stakes at Naas.
A field of 24 juveniles went to post for the €300,000 feature, with impressive course-and-distance winner Apricot Twist the 5-2 favourite to provide Ger Lyons, Colin Keane and Juddmonte with back-to-back victories following the success of the high-class Sacred Bridge 12 months ago.
The Joseph O’Brien-trained Voce Del Palio had opened his account at the second attempt at Roscommon in May, but having since been beaten twice at Leopardstown, he was a 28-1 shot under Declan McDonogh.
However, there were still plenty in with chances on both sides of the track racing inside the last of six furlongs and it was O’Brien’s son of Bated Breath who passed the post almost two lengths clear of the well-fancied Matilda Picotte, with Ocean Quest just a nose further away in third.
“He’s been a good horse and I thought his price was a bit disrespectful to him,” said O’Brien.
“He’s a solid horse, he was just dropping in trip which we weren’t sure about, but he obviously handled it well. He was always going to get it well and was dropping back from Group-race company.
“He’s in at Tipperary on Friday, but I’d say we’ll probably go to the Curragh for the Sportsman race, another sales race.
“This is a huge pot and it’s fantastic. The race is very well supported every year with such a big field and is always a very strong race.”
Denmark made an impressive debut for Aidan O’Brien in the Weatherbys GSB Irish EBF (C & G) Maiden.
A €440,000 purchase, the 7-2 chance readily accounted for fellow newcomer Warrior Lion by three and a quarter lengths in the hands of Ryan Moore.
Paddy Power gave the Camelot colt an introductory quote of 33-1 for next year’s Derby at Epsom.
“We’re delighted with him. He’s a big baby still, obviously, as you can see,” said O’Brien.
“He spooked at the road and he was just very green and babyish, but I’d say he’s a lovely horse. He’s a fine, big fella.
“We’ll go gently with him and give him a little bit of time now. We couldn’t be happier with him.”
Jim Bolger and Kevin Manning landed the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Fillies Maiden with 4-1 shot Gan Teorainn, who confirmed the promise of a runner-up finish on her Down Royal debut with a ready win.
Manning said: “She did that well. She had a very good run over seven in Down Royal where there were a few experienced horses in the race that just got her on her head down the hill, but she finished out very well that day.
“She picked up well when she met the rising ground today and went to the line well. I think whatever she does as a two-year-old is going to be a bonus – I think she’s a real three-year-old in the making.”