Breeders' Cup joy for Aidan O'Brien and Ryan Moore
Aidan O'Brien's Hit It A Bomb will be aimed at Classic glory next season after powering home under an inspired Ryan Moore to win the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf at Keeneland.
Ridden towards the rear of the field for much of the mile contest from his draw in stall 14, the War Front colt had many lengths to make up turning into the straight, as Manhattan Dan still led after setting the early pace.
Birchwood began to stay on well for James Doyle and Richard Fahey, but Moore could be spotted weaving his way through on the unbeaten youngster and once he engaged top gear there was an inevitable look to the outcome.
He got up to win narrowly but cosily, with Airoforce just edging out Birchwood for second.
O'Brien has now won three of the last five runnings of the race, and William Hill reacted with a 16-1 quote for the 2000 Guineas.
The Ballydoyle trainer said: "Obviously I'm delighted, he won his maiden very nicely at the Curragh and Ryan loved him that day.
"We were looking forward to bringing him here, but we were very worried when we saw stall 14.
"He has a nice turn of foot, as we saw in his Listed race at Dundalk, where he took off.
"I'd say he's a classy miler and we will be looking at the Classics over that distance next year."
Fahey said of Birchwood, his first ever runner at the meeting: "We were delighted with that run and he only gave best in the last three or four strides."
Doyle said: "He hit the line well and saw the trip out better than I thought he would. I couldn't really fault him."
William Buick rode the fancied Cymric for John Gosden, but having been handy in third he was one of the first of the principals to come under pressure.
Buick said: "The ground rode good to soft, this is a fast-ground horse and it was always hard work."