Excelebration strolls to Gladness Stakes victory
Report: Curragh, Sunday
Big Bad Bob Gladness Stakes (Group 3) (4yo+) 7f
EXCELEBRATION enjoyed little more than a morning gallop as he strolled away with the Group 3 Big Bad Bob Gladness Stakes at The Curragh on Sunday.
With the Lockinge Stakes booked in at Newbury next month, the win sets up another possible duel with Frankel, who beat him three times last year.
The four-year-old, making his first start from Ballydoyle after being bought by Derrick Smith out of Marco Botti's stable, only had to have the reins shaken at him by Joseph O'Brien to go clear in the final furlong.
Excelebration beat Croisultan by an unextended three and a quarter lengths with his pacemaker Windsor Palace plugging on for third as they came home strung out behind the 2-7 favourite.
O'Brien said: "I am delighted to get him started and Joseph was delighted with him - he travelled well and quickened very well.
"I look forward to his next run and the plan is the Lockinge. Frankel is an incredible horse and we look forward to the next day."
It was a first win in the 7f feature for trainer Aidan O'Brien since Giants Causeway's success in 2000 and completed a treble on the card for him and a double in the saddle for his son.
Disappointment of the race was the British raider Beacon Lodge, bought out of Clive Cox's stable for 75,000gns by Dandy Nicholls. After racing keenly up with the steady pace, he weakened tamely inside the last two furlongs to finish well beaten.