Caravaggio rises to the occasion
Aidan O'Brien's Caravaggio cemented his position at the top of the juvenile tree with another imperious performance in the Keeneland Phoenix Stakes at the Curragh.
Caravaggio and Seamus Heffernan win the Keeneland Phoenix Stakes at the Curragh
Bringing a three-race unbeaten record into the first Group One of the season for two-year-olds, the son of Scat Daddy was the red-hot 1-8 favourite to make it four from four.
The Coventry Stakes winner made his move at the two-furlong pole and Seamus Heffernan never had to get too serious to beat Courage Under Fire by an easy four lengths.
Sky Bet trimmed the winner to 5-2 favourite from 3-1 for the next season's Qipco 2000 Guineas.
With Ryan Moore on the sidelines, Heffernan was riding Caravaggio for the first time since his debut at Dundalk in April.
"He's a very good horse and everything went 100 per cent. In his last piece of work he hit a top speed of 45 miles per hour – no horse in Ballydoyle has ever been able to do that."
Heffernan said: "He had plenty left today, he's always shown a lot. He was fresh early on, so Aidan gave him a run at Dundalk just to take the freshness off him.
"We thought he was an Ascot horse and he's never disappointed. "I would say he has (all the attributes needed to go all the way), yes."
O'Brien said: "He's a very good horse and everything went 100 per cent. In his last piece of work he hit a top speed of 45 miles per hour – no horse in Ballydoyle has ever been able to do that.
"He's very pacey and has a great mind. He's so relaxed he could get further, but I'd say we'll have a look at the Morny.
"He's the fastest we have ever had and I'd not be in a rush to go over seven furlongs. He could always go for the Middle Park after the Morny."