On just his seventh ride on Irish soil since steering Serpentine to Investec Derby glory, Emmet McNamara again proved difficult to peg back from the front, guiding the gutsy Military Style to Tyros Stakes (1400m) victory at Leopardstown on Thursday, a seventh consecutive win in the race for Aidan O'Brien.
The 7-1 scorer brought up a 14th success for the Ballydoyle trainer in the Japan Racing Association-backed Group 3, just doing enough to keep stablemate Van Gogh and Ger Lyons' eyecatching Masen at bay to win by a neck.
A ready Naas maiden winner on his debut, the War Front colt out of Fillies' Mile heroine Together Forever was turned over as 4-9 favourite when third in the Marble Hill Stakes at Cork last month.
The improved display did not come as a surprise to McNamara though, citing confidence from former gifted jump jockey Adrian Maguire, who is now an important part of the Ballydoyle team.
"Adrian rides him out every day at home and he gave me plenty of confidence this morning," said the Limerick rider.
"Aidan [O'Brien] thought seven furlongs would suit him and it's beautiful, fast, Flat-racing ground. That suits him well being by War Front out of a very good Galileo mare."
He added: "I think seven furlongs is a nice distance for him at the moment, he's not short of pace, but given his relaxed temperament a mile should be no problem to him either.
"Hopefully he can step up from this. This race has usually been a very good trial for better things to come, there are some illustrious names on the roll of honour so hopefully he can follow in their footsteps."
There was a sting in the tail for the Classic-winning rider, though, as he was found guilty of using his whip with excessive force and received a three-day suspension.
Donnacha delight as Shale impresses in Silver Flash
It could be wishful thinking to envisage this year's Group 3 Silver Flash Stakes producing a winner as good as last year's scorer Love, but Donnacha O'Brien's Shale looks a filly destined for top-level two-year-old events after her ready success in the 2020 edition.
A smart winner of a Gowran Park maiden on much deeper ground last month, the daughter of 2012 Qipco 1,000 Guineas heroine Homecoming Queen showed plenty of natural ability to oblige at 14-1 under the in-form Gavin Ryan.
The winning rider earlier had a previous three-day careless riding ban quashed on appeal and another shortened from five days to four, and brought up a double on the card when partnering Dermot Weld's Sweet Affection to success.
"She's done it very well and has obviously improved from her maiden," said O'Brien after his filly earned an introductory quote of 33-1 for next year's 1,000 Guineas.
"I think the race worked out nicely for her, they went a nice gallop and she got a good tow into the race before picking up well. She looks smart."
He added: "I'd imagine that it'll be the Debutante Stakes [August 22] before heading on to the Moyglare Stakes [September 13], something like that. It looks the obvious path with those two-year-old fillies."
Irish St Leger aim for Ballyroan scorer Nickajack Cave
Ger Lyons looks to have a smart staying prospect in Nickajack Cave, who continued his progress with a useful display in the Group 3 Bahrain International Ballyroan Stakes.
The mount of Gary Carroll did well to overhaul the gallant Fresnel off what looked a pretty moderate pace, keeping on strongly to score at 15-8.
"He's improving all the time and has been a great horse at home," said Shane Lyons, assistant to his brother Ger.
"He's in the Irish St Leger and that will be his ultimate goal. We were a little bit worried about the ground beforehand but Gary [Carroll] said he just doesn't want extremes. That ground was fine."
Joseph O'Brien also enjoyed a good day at the office at the Dublin venue, sending out promising three-year-old Thundering Nights (11-8) and talented stayer Tonkinese (14-1) to record a double.