Madhmoon set himself up for a crack at the Qipco Irish Champion Stakes with a comfortable victory in the Invesco Pension Consultants Desmond Stakes at Leopardstown.
Fourth in the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket and just denied in the Derby at Epsom, the Kevin Prendergast-trained colt had been off the track since his fourth in the Irish Derby.
Dropped to a mile, the Sheikh Hamdan-owned son of Dawn Approach raced towards the rear of the field through the early stages, as Ancient Spirit took the seven runners along.
He made progress from the three-furlong pole and once switched wide for his run in the straight, he only took a stride or two to pick up the leaders, without Chris Hayes having to get overly serious.
Zuenoon made late headway to take second. "He'll come on a lot and the Champion Stakes is his next outing," Prendergast said. "After that, if he puts up a good show, he'll go to Ascot for the Champion Stakes there.
"I thought he did it well. He stumbled out of the gate and just got a little bit unbalanced in the first furlong, then he settled in and raced nicely after that."
Next month's Leopardstown showpiece is also on the agenda for Japan raider Deirdre. She was sent off an unconsidered 20/1 shot in the Nassau Stakes at Goodwood, but flew home to win impressively.
"Bringing Deirdre over to Europe has been a wonderful adventure," said trainer Mitsuru Hashida. "Her winning the Nassau Stakes was a fabulous day, not just for us but for Japanese racing, and we now can't wait for her to become the first ever Japanese runner in Ireland."