Aerclub looks a colt sure to go on to bigger and better things after maintaining his unbeaten record in impressive style at Dundalk.
A son of triple Group One winner Charm Spirit, Henry de Bromhead's charge was a surprise winner on his racecourse debut at the County Louth circuit in November, claiming a narrow victory at 20-1.
However, with the runner-up Duke Of Pilat having won each of his two subsequent starts for Joseph O'Brien, Aerclub was the 11-8 favourite to double up in the Love Your Mum At The Races Weekend Median Auction Race - and did not disappoint.
Always travelling well in the hands of Wayne Lordan, the three-year-old ultimately had little in trouble in pulling almost three lengths clear of Point Reyes, with Flower Garland back in third.
De Bromhead was not present, but told the PA news agency: "I'm delighted with him. He's a lovely, big horse and won nicely, so it's great.
"He's always worked well, so we were hoping he'd run a good race the first day, but ours do normally improve for the run.
"He's improving all the time and hopefully we'll run him on the turf in the spring."
Lordan was suitably impressed, saying: "He's a nice horse. Henry liked him the first day he ran and he won well.
"He felt like he's after improving since then. He's a fine, big horse, he went to the line well and he's very likeable.
"I think he could be a stakes horse - he'd give you all the vibes that he's going that way.
"After we went a furlong I thought the race steadied, he has a big huge stride on him and is an easy traveller, so that's maybe why he got keen. In a better race you could ride him whatever way you'd like."
Race voided after Ryan fall
Jockey Gavin Ryan was taken to hospital for precautionary checks after his fall led to the sixth race at Dundalk being declared void.
Having enjoyed a winner aboard 7-2 favourite Reverberation in the apprentice handicap earlier on the card, Ryan was partnering the Luke Comer-trained Guild in the Crowne Plaza Dundalk Race & Stay Handicap when his mount became short of room not long after the stalls opened.
Ryan was catapulted to the ground and was down for some time while being attended to by medics.
The rest of the field went on to complete almost a circuit before the race was called off before the home turn.
The stewards inevitably confirmed the race void, but Ryan thankfully appeared to escape with relatively minor injuries.
The Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board tweeted an update from on-course Dr Antonia Lehane, saying: "Gavin Ryan is fully conscious and talking. He is going to Drogheda Hospital for precautionary x-rays."
Short-head winner Reverberation was trained by James Lambe, who was full of praise for Ryan - who had a scare when unseated from the 7-2 favourite on the way back to the parade ring after the mile event, but was able to stay on his feet.
Lambe said: "It's great to get it. He was third here on his last visit and then I sent him to Newcastle and we were disappointed, but I think the straight mile is tough there.
"Going left-handed around two turns here suited. Gavin gave him a great ride."
The first race of the Dundalk card went to the well-backed Reverberation who was backed into 7/2 favouritism having been 8/1 in the morning. The winner was very well backed and was easily the most popular horse in the final 10 minutes prior to the race. The two extra places that were offered went to Kinch and Crest Of Wave who finished fourth and fifth respectively.
The second race of the card was very much one to the Sky Bet customers as the well-supported Aerclub easily won under Wayne Lordan. The Henry De Bromhead horse was the best backed horse both in the morning and then in the show. The starting price of 11/8 reflected how strong a favourite he was and it certainly got punters on the front foot.
An interesting betting heat with morning favourite Yuften drifting markedly from 4/7 out to 6/4 and stablemate Tony The Gent being backed into 10/11 from 11/4. Although it was another winning favourite it was a fair result as Yuften was very popular in multiple bets with some of the other short-priced favourites on the day.
It was four out of four for favourite backers as Juliet Rose won in convincing style under the excellent Declan McDonagh. Once again the favourite drifted out from a morning price of even money to 15/8. This was a particularly good result for followers of the Fran Berry column as it was one of his selections.
The run of favourites was broken in what turned out to be a very competitive handicap. The well-backed favourite was Followme Followyou who proved slightly disappointing. Sky Bet paid an extra place in the race and one of the early market movers, Mere Ironmonger, managed to run into a place at 12/1. The was Getgo at 10/1 and was welcome respite for the bookmakers after the first four favourites had gone in.
Unfortunately, the sixth race of the day was a void race after a nasty looking fall for Gavin Ryan on Guild. The reports suggest that Gavin was fully conscious but went to hospital for precautionary X-rays.
The penultimate race on the card was a lively betting heat with Tanseeq backed into 12/1 from an opening show price of 33/1. Unfortunately for each-way punters, Tanseeq was just out of the frame, finishing fourth. The race was won by Fit For Function who returned the 11/4 favourite and was solid in the market. He just held off morning favourite Major Power with the front two in the betting dominating proceedings.
The final race of the day was an extra place race where Sky Bet paid four places. Once again it was a volatile market with Lady Maura well supported into second favourite. The money was justified as he finished a good second. The race was won by yet another favourite, this time Requinto, who was another selection from Fran Berry. The winner was fairly easy to back and drifted out from 6/4 just before the show came through to a starting price of 5/2.
Overall, results were customer friendly with six of the seven races that were run going to the favourite. The defeat of Yuften, who looked sure to go off favourite prior to drifting in the betting, was probably the highlight for Sky Bet in what was a good day for favourite backers.