Illinois motors to impressive Curragh debut win

Illinois could have a bright future after making a taking introduction at the Curragh on Saturday.

Aidan O’Brien’s son of Galileo is a half-brother to Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe champion Danedream as well as being a full-brother to Chester Vase scorer Venice Beach, although even with that bloodline he was relatively easy to back in going off at 4-1 for his first start in the Shoda Market Cafe Irish EBF Maiden.

He produced a professional performance in the hands of Seamie Heffernan and once easily making his way to the head of proceedings two furlongs from home, kept on stoutly in the closing stages for a three-length success.

Having advertised his potential over nine furlongs here, Betfair introduced the smart-looking colt at 20-1 for next year’s Derby.

An impressed Heffernan said: “He’s a beautiful colt. There’s not too many that you go down past the two and a half and they say ‘point me’. I actually got there a little sooner because I thought he’d take a bit of stoking.

“He has a lot going for him – pedigree, scope, size, action, wind. He’s pretty much a steering job and I’m going to miss these Galileo’s.”

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