Luxembourg held off Bay Bridge to make every yard in the Tattersalls Gold Cup at the Curragh for Aidan O’Brien and Ryan Moore.
A Group One winner at two, he was well fancied for last year’s Derby after finishing third in the 2000 Guineas but missed out on the summer months with a setback.
He made up for lost time in the second half of his three-year-old campaign by winning the Royal Whip over course and distance before adding the Irish Champion Stakes, accounting for a high-class cast at Leopardstown.
Only fifth on his seasonal bow in the Mooresbridge Stakes, the real Luxembourg was on show on Sunday afternoon.
Sent off at 11-4, with French raider and old rival Vadeni the 11-8 market leader, the son of Camelot was immediately sent to the front by Ryan Moore where he remained until the winning post.
Sir Michael Stoute’s Bay Bridge was content to track the pace in the early stages and was building up momentum as the runners headed up the home straight.
Although short of room passing the two-furlong pole, Richard Kingscote was soon able to edge his mount into clear daylight and they set about laying down a stern challenge to Luxembourg in the closing stages.
But the Ballydoyle representative refused to give in and remained half a length clear as the duo flashed past the winning post, a performance that saw Luxembourg shortened to 3-1 from 10s for the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot with both Paddy Power and Betfair.
The victory was O’Brien’s 10th in this particular Group One – and also the 400th Group One/Grade One winner (including 22 over jumps) of his career.
He said: “That’s hard work from so many people and the lads put so much in day in day out. We are just a small part of a big team and I’m delighted for everybody.
“That was a masterclass from Ryan. He’s confident, mature, dedicated, passionate and he’s very strong. He has everything and is a great fellow to work with.
“He was happy to make the running and happy to take a lead. The horse gets a mile and a quarter very strong.
“The last day was his first day and we were happy to sit in.
“When a horse is happy to make the running they are very independent and you are not at the mercy of anybody. Ryan guided him through all the fractions.
“He went to the (Irish) Champion Stakes after a terrible preparation. He then went to the Arc on bad ground after that hard preparation and it was always possible that he would be as good.
“The lads had the patience to leave him alone and he’s a very serious horse. He’s not for kids, he’s a hardy customer. He’s tough and has loads of class.”
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