Excelebration laid down a serious marker for the rest of the season with an effortless win in the Group 3 Big Bad Bob Gladness Stakes at the Curragh on Sunday.
The colt, who was last seen finishing second to Frankel in the QEII at Ascot last season when trained by Marco Botti, was sent off the 2/7 favourite for the seven furlong contest and he never gave his backers any moments of worry.
Taken along at a steady gallop by stablemate Winsor Palace, Excelebration travelled much the best horse in the race and had to barely have the reins shaken at him to quicken away from his rivals.
The Dermot Weld trained Croisultan ran on to be second, but he was never going to trouble the winner.
A delighted Aidan O’Brien said of the winner “He travelled and quickened impressively out there didn’t he?.
“He is a lazy worker at home so we didn’t know what to expect. He only does what he has to do at home but he did it well out there.
“The Lockinge was the plan coming here today and if he comes out of today fine that will be the plan.”