Acapulco proves too hot to handle on O'Brien debut
Acapulco made the perfect start to life with Aidan O'Brien when making her class tell in the Listed Sole Power Sprint Stakes at the Curragh.
In foal to Galileo and wearing a hood for the first time, the four-year-old, who won the Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot in 2015 when trained by Wesley Ward, was sent off the 11-8 favourite to land the 5f event.
The daughter of Scat Daddy warmed to her task as the race went on and showed that age has not dimmed her speed by coming with a well-timed challenge under the trainer's son Donnacha.
Her performance in beating race-fit course-and-distance winner Ardhoomey by half a length prompted bookmakers to cut her for the King's Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot, with Paddy Power and Sky Bet going 4-1, from 6-1 and 7-1 respectively.
"We've been trying to get her to relax at home and that's why she had a hood on today," said the winning rider.
"She raced a bit lazily and I'd imagine the hood will be left off next time. It was a lovely start for her."
Acapulco had raced three times in America – winning twice at Turfway Park and Churchill Downs – since finishing second to Mecca's Angel in the 2015 Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes and before that she posted a sensational performance when blitzing the field in the Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot.
Ardhoomey was closing the gap on the 11-8 winner at the line after coming from off the pace while the William Muir-trained Willytheconqueror was only a further half length back in third.
Ardhoomey's performance delighted his trainer Ger Lyons said: "That was a very good effort conceding 10lb to the winner. The good thing from now on is that we won't have to worry about penalties and, hopefully, we might win a Group 1 win with him.
"Whether we go to the Temple Stakes at Haydock or wait for the King's Stand is the decision we have to make."