Aidan O’Brien raised the Futurity Trophy at Doncaster as a potential next port of call for Gasper De Lemos after the promising colt ground out a first career victory at the Curragh.
The son of Justify shaped with promise when fourth on his racecourse debut at Leopardstown behind stablemate Chief Little Rock, who on Saturday finished second in the Group Two Beresford Stakes.
On the strength of that form Gasper De Lemos was the 9-4 favourite on his second start in the Pat “The Duke” Leavy Irish EBF Maiden, with Ryan Moore taking the ride having hurried back from Australia.
Ridden positively from the off, the youngster came under pressure with over two furlongs still to run, but kept pulling out more and was well on top as he passed the post three lengths clear of Taraj.
O’Brien said: “He had a lovely run the first time. Obviously he’ll be very happy going back up to a mile and he’ll be a middle-distance horse next year.
“It’s tough out there and they have to stay to get it.
“He’s probably a Futurity Trophy horse more than a Dewhurst horse. He’ll get further, he’s like all those Justifys, when they go up in distance they grow a leg.
“He’s a very good mover so I’m surprised he handles the ground. He’s a lovely actioned horse.”
Gibbs Island opened his account at the third attempt with a narrow victory in the Irish EBF Median Sires Series Maiden.
Sixth and fourth in his first two races at Fairyhouse and Roscommon respectively, Andrew Oliver’s youngster raised his game to come out on top in a nip-and-tuck finish by a head from from Mo Ghille Mar, with Marty The Party and Slaney Swagger right on their heels in behind.
“He did it well. He had to grind it out,” said Oliver.
“He’s a full-brother to a good horse that Godolphin owns (Live Your Dream). I trained the half-brother Dream Tale so I know the family a bit.
“He had a nice run at Roscommon and we knew that stepping up in trip should be in his favour. He stayed every yard of the mile and it was a likeable performance.
“I was just saying to Billy (Lee, jockey) that we might look at the Eyrefield Stakes at the end of the year, it’s nine furlongs at Leopardstown. We’ll make a decision in the next week or two.”