Siobhan Rutledge rider of Lord Erskine© Photo Healy Racing
The oldest runner in the line-up at ten, Lord Erskine showed his younger rivals how it's done in the Friends Of The Curragh Pollardstown Handicap.
Successful in the 2017 running of the Irish Cesarewitch, which took place at Navan, the Harry Rogers-trained bay was recording his tenth career success this afternoon.
A never nearer fourth at Listowel on Thursday, the admirable Fast Company gelding was sent off a well-supported 5/1 chance (from 8s) this afternoon.
Slow into stride before soon improving into mid-division under Siobhan Rutledge, he took closer order from halfway and was sent to the front with over four-furlongs to race.
He had all his rivals off the bridle from early in the straight and responded generously to pressure from the furlong pole, going on to score by three-and-a-quarter lengths.
Returned at 6/1, Maze Runner couldn't match the winner in the closing stages and had to settle for second under Dylan Browne McMonagle for Willie Mullins, eight lengths clear of Merlin Giant (9/2f) and Ben Coen in third.
"He ran in Listowel the other day and it just didn't work out. He does want two miles and that ground,” Rogers said.
"I stuck the blinkers on him on Friday morning and that made the difference but he loves that ground and the trip.
"He's just easy to train and he's very laid-back, that's what's wrong with him, he just does what he wants and doesn't kill himself.
"There are probably a few hurdle races in him yet with a bit of luck.
"Pat Smullen actually rode him on his first two wins for me and he thought he was a right one. He's been a great horse, a great servant.
"Jerry (Nolan) was a great supporter and was probably one of the best owners I had, a gentleman. I rode winners for him years ago and it's great to see the horse winning for the family.
"Siobhan is a hard little grafter and a trier. She rides work for me whenever I need her and she's not afraid of work. She's a good little rider and she deserved that.
"He'll have a few more runs before November and we'll leave him alone then and bring him back next year. There is another year or two left in him, hopefully, if he stays in one piece."
L.F. Roche, rider of Lispendense trained by Denis W. Cullen, reported to the Clerk of the Scales that his mount stopped quickly.
Additional reporting by Gary Carson