Aidan O’Brien’s top-class stayer Fame And Glory made a successful reappearance in the Vintage Crop Stakes at Navan as he took the first step towards the defence of his Ascot Gold Cup crown.
Winner of this Listed race 12 months ago, the 5-4 favourite was always prominent and led a long way from home under Joseph O’Brien, who was keen to give him as easy a race as possible in view of the exertions to come.
Market rival Unaccompanied pressed him hard throughout the final two furlongs, but Fame And Glory was always holding her and got home by a cosy neck, with O’Brien jnr not giving him an unduly hard race on his first outing since October.
Fame And Glory was taking his winning tally to 14 from 22 starts.
The winning rider said: “He ran quite fresh down the back. I had a nice position on the bend going away from the stands and then he changed his legs and took off a bit. He just got a bit tired, which he was entitled to on his first run of the year.”
O’Brien junior was standing in for the first time for regular pilot Jamie Spencer ,who is serving a three-day ban.
Fame And Glory was generally cut to 2-1 favourite from 5-2 with bookmakers for the Gold Cup on June 21.