Go Athletico leads home Big Gossey© Photo Healy Racing
Since arriving in Ireland from France this summer, Go Athletico has done little wrong, with the five-year-old registering his second success for current connections in the Group 3 Westgrove Hotel Renaissance Stakes.
A winner on his Irish debut at Cork in June, the Goken gelding since filled the runner-up spot in the Sapphire Stakes and the Phoenix Sprint Stakes respectively.
Sent off a 7/2 chance this afternoon, the Adrian McGuinness-trained bay was settled behind the leaders on the inner, getting a nice run through from the two-furlong pole.
Ridden to challenge over a furlong from home, he soon edged to the front and needed to be kept up to his work all the way to the line, seeing off the persistent effort of Big Gossey (10/1) by half-a-length.
Robert Whearty was aboard the runner-up for Charles O'Brien, with the front-pair five-and-a-half lengths clear of Aesop's Fables (7/1) in third.
Returned the 6/5 favourite, Ocean Quest finished a disappointing fourth.
"He's in the Abbaye next week. We ran him here because the forecast was giving it to be quite a dry week. He might travel but if it is dry we won't run him," said McGuinness.
"I have to speak to Barry (Irwin of Team Valor) first. There is a big possibility that he goes as there isn't a whole pile left for him.
"He deserves to get it, he's been very consistent. He's been a great horse for me, he's only had four runs and hit the ground running. I'm very lucky and privileged to have him.
"He wasn't a very expensive horse and it was great to get him.
"I came out of here two weeks ago and the cat wasn't around my house that night. He's got his just rewards today.
"There's been very little between him and Ken's horse (Moss Tucker) all year and if he's fancied for the Abbaye next week he won't be too far behind him. Fingers crossed he could go there.
"He's a great horse to have. He probably would just like a little bit of juice in it but I've worked him on good ground and he's no bad horse.
"Ronan gave him a good ride today, it was straight-forward. Fingers crossed he can stay sound and he'll stay going. There is plenty to look forward to with him."
R.P. Cleary, rider of Clever And Cool trained by J. S. Bolger, reported to the Clerk of the Scales that his mount was slowly away from the starting stalls.
The Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board Veterinary Officer examined Ocean Quest, trained by Mrs John Harrington, at the request of the Raceday Stewards and reported the animal to be post race normal.
Additional reporting by Gary Carson