Magellan Strait caused a huge surprise with a 150-1 victory in the Friends Of The Curragh Irish Cesarewitch at the Curragh.
Although a dual winner as a three-year-old last season, Joseph O’Brien’s inmate had shown precious little in four previous starts this term, most recently finishing tailed off at the Galway Festival.
With 7lb claimer Hugh Horgan in the saddle, Magellan Strait was among the rank outsiders for a 30-runner contest staged in atrocious conditions, but came out on top at the end of a pulsating contest.
The son of Australia raced in third position for much of the two-mile-one-furlong journey before committing for home three furlongs from the finish.
He was soon joined by the strong-travelling My Mate Mozzie and Galway Hurdle runner-up Jesse Evans, while the winner’s stablemate Dawn Rising and Falcon Eight also joined the party late to set up a grandstand five-way finish.
Falcon Eight was arguably coming home strongest of all, but Magellan Strait clung on grimly to claim the lion’s share of the huge prize fund of €600,000 by half a length, with Dawn Rising, Jesse Evans and My Mate Mozzie all close up behind in third, fourth and fifth respectively.
“It’s a fantastic win. A great run and a great ride from Hugh,” said O’Brien.
“He’s not been the most consistent horse in the world, but when he runs his race he generally runs a good race. Hugh got a great tune out of him today.
“He stays very well and stamina has always been his thing. That’s what he did today, he outstayed them.
“Hugh’s instructions were to go forward, get a nice position, and make sure that stamina counted and to go out on his sword. He committed at the bottom of the straight and he kept galloping.”
Of Dawn Rising, he added: “He ran a great race, carrying a lot of weight, two weeks after finishing third in the Irish St Leger.
“It was a great run, he got a lovely run around, and I’m very proud of his run again.
“I don’t know if he’ll go back over hurdles as he’s had a busy enough summer. We’ll speak to JP (McManus) and Frank (Berry) and see. He might have a little break and come back next year.”