Line Out stayed on strongly to land the Paddy Power Irish Cesarewitch at the Curragh for John Kiely and Shane Foley.
Lightly raced on the level with just three previous Flat starts, the nine-year-old had run with credit in a lady riders’ handicap over a mile and a half here last month and relished the step back up in trip to two miles.
Fitted with first-time cheekpieces, he was nicely positioned in mid-division by Foley before making a positive move entering the straight and forging on from Dunvegan heading to the quarter-mile pole.
The 18-1 chance stuck to his guns well from there, having a length and a half to spare at the line over Turnpike Trip, who ran with great credit to finish where he did having been off the bridle a long way from home. Maze Runner was just a nose back in third, with another three and a half lengths to Royal Illusion.
Kiely said: “He wasn’t the bravest of jumpers and he always had that little bit of class, so I was aiming for this and praying that we’d get in.
“I was afraid we were a little low in the handicap, but it came right at the end and it was just what we hoped for.
“I’ve had the race in mind for him since last year. When you’re thinking about it for a while it’s great when it happens.
“I’ve been associated now with three winners of this race. I won it in 1969 under my father’s name and we won it with Clara Allen in 2005. We had our first runner in it in 1953, which finished fifth.
“The race has been very good to me.”
The 84-year-old trainer added: “I’d rather be riding him (at home), I don’t ride anymore, but I broke him in. I’ve 10 in training at the minute, if you have 10 good ones they’ll do!”
Limiti Di Greccio recorded an astonishing success in the Listed Staffordstown Stud Stakes.
Having her third start since joining Paddy Twomey and last seen just missing out on Irish Champions Weekend, the Elzaam filly was sent off the 15-8 favourite under Billy Lee – but it proved far from easy viewing for connections and those who backed her.
Lee had lots of horse underneath him three furlong out, but found every gap he sought quickly closing on him.
It looked like the game was up, even in the final furlong, only for Lee to finally find daylight as he switched for a last-gasp challenge – one his partner responded to with a smart turn of foot to even win cosily in the end, by a length and a quarter from Tranquil Lady.
Twomey said: “I was concerned when they turned in and she seemed to meet every bit of trouble she could.
“I was confident if she could get any bit of light we’d run well anyway and she exceeded my expectations.
“Her owner (Martin Schwartz) wanted to go to France for the Group One and the Breeders’ Cup, but I managed to talk him out of it.
“We won this last year and I wanted to come here. I think it’s a perfect stepping stone for the (Irish 1,000) Guineas.
“She’s come to me, won her maiden and finished second in the Ingabelle Stakes with trouble in running.
“I thought the extra furlong would suit her today and the slower ground didn’t seem to inconvenience her. The plan would be to go for the Guineas.”
He added: “The owner would very much like to go for the Breeders’ Cup, but the trainer is trying to put the brakes on.”
Tartan Skirt justified market confidence as she ran out a very smooth winner of the Irish EBF Median Sires Series Maiden.
Fourth first time out over seven furlongs, the Michael O’Callaghan-trained Mehmas filly had no trouble coming back a furlong in trip, always travelling well before Leigh Roche asked her to put the race to bed, which she did by two lengths from Secret Magician.
O’Callaghan said of his 8-13 winner: “She’s a lovely filly, she ran a lovely race first time out in Punchestown and has improved plenty since then.
“She’s a filly that has done a good bit of growing and maturing in the last six weeks and I’d say she’ll even be better next spring. We might put her away now.
“She has plenty of pace, but I can see her maybe getting seven for a Guineas trial next spring. She obviously handled that ground today, but she would like nicer ground.
“She has a bit of class, she’s by a good stallion, and I think she’ll keep on improving. I’m delighted with her.”