Group 2 winning juvenile Royal Dornoch (3c Gleneagles – Bridal Dance, by Danehill Dancer) flew home to land Thursday’s Group 3 Desmond Stakes at Leopardstown.
Racing towards the back of the field for much of the mile contest, the Aidan O’Brien-trained colt became short of room in the straight and was forced to switch left to challenge. Once a gap appeared, the bay produced an impressive turn of foot to lead close home, denying the favourite Ancient Spirit by a neck on the line.
Thursday marked a return to form for Royal Dornoch, who ended last season with a Group 2 success in the Royal Lodge Stakes and previously finished third in the Group 2 Richmond Stakes. Bred and sold by Barronstown Stud, the son of Gleneagles races for Coolmore partners and is a half-brother to multiple Graded scorer Hawksmoor and Cherry Hinton Stakes second Magical Fire.