Spirit Of Valor and Ryan Moore
©Healy Racing Photos
By Gary Carson
Spirit Of Valor produced a smart front-running performance to claim the Qatar Airways Minstrel Stakes at the Curragh.
The Ballydoyle colt had bounced back to form with a big run to finish second in the Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot last month and confirmed that improvement in the Group Two seven-furlong prize today.
The 5/2 joint favourite stayed on well for Ryan Moore inside the final furlong to post a convincing length-and-three-quarter success.
So Beloved just edged a tight finish for the runner-up spot from fellow raider Stormy Atlantic.
Dutch Connection was the other market leader but faded in the closing stages to finish sixth.
“Over six or seven furlongs on fast ground he's obviously a real good horse,” said O'Brien.
“He had a very good run in Ascot. We tried him at a mile the first day and it was stretching him a bit. Then we came back on a mile on soft ground.
“Ryan was very happy with him. There were horses with good form in that race.
“We might have a look at the Lennox in Goodwood or something like that.
“There's no doubt he's improving. He's by War Front so he would like nice ground and the reason they do is because they are all fast horses.”