Gear Up led home a Joseph O’Brien-trained one-two in the Grant Thornton Ballyroan Stakes at Leopardstown.
Ridden by Dylan Browne McMonagle, the former Group One-winning juvenile got first run on Cleveland in the mile-and-a-half Group Three feature, holding him at bay by a neck. Winner of the Chester Cup for Aidan O’Brien, the latter was having his first run for his new yard.
“It was a good, tough performance. He’s been improving with each run all year and I’d say that’s as good as he’s been all year,” said O’Brien of the 4-1 winner.
“I think a mile and a half is probably his perfect trip. I’m very pleased with the win. He ran well the last day, but I think a mile and a half is probably his optimum distance. Dylan gave him a lovely, uncomplicated ride. This lad always fights and he fought on hard today.
“There is the Kilternan Stakes back here on Champions Weekend and he’s also in the Caulfield Cup.
“I’m not sure if he can do both. I think the quarantine may start before the Kilternan so it might be one or the other.”
He added of Cleveland, who was the mount of Ryan Moore: “I thought it was a great run.
“He had to be Group-placed to qualify for the Melbourne Cup so I’m very pleased.”
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