Aidan O'Brien's three-year-old Moth looked every inch a Classic-bound filly as she made her seasonal bow a winning one in the Cancer Clinic Reasearch Trust EBF Fillies Maiden at the Curragh.
An exquisitely bred and well-built daughter of Galileo, Moth (11-8 favourite) had been the market leader in both her late-season starts last year, looking a little too inexperienced to get off the mark, but she holds entries in the Irish 1000 Guineas and Investec Oaks.
She travelled in behind under a very confident Joseph O'Brien and when switched wide for her run, her acceleration was dramatic and impressive as she galloped clear to score by four and a half lengths from Wannabe Better.
The Ballydoyle trainer said: "She did it well. We thought she was nice last year, but she got beat a few times. I was giving the wrong instructions and instead of making use of her she should have been held up.
"She's able to change gears. It was a slow run race and she came from behind, which I imagine wouldn't have suited. She quickened up well. She could go for a trial or head straight to Newmarket for the Guineas. It depends on what happens."
Stan James gave Moth a 16-1 quote for the 1000 Guineas, for which she would need to be supplemented
O'Brien also reported his colts on course for the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket.
"The wheels are still on," he said. "Mars is still going that way and I'm very happy with Cristoforo Colombo. We also have George Vancouver and Pedro The Great and they are all still standing so far."
There will be more to look forward to for the Ballydoyle team with Duke Of Marmalade's half-brother Ruler Of The World (2-1), who picked off the positively-ridden Manalapan in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden on his racecourse debut.
O'Brien said: "I'm delighted with that horse. He had a few little setbacks and that's why he didn't run at two. He's lazy and he just does what he has to. We'll step him up gradually. He'll go for a conditions race next and we'll go gently with him. He's a lovely horse, a sleepy horse, and there could be anything in there."