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Former St James's Palace Stakes winner Most Improved pleases on debut for Aidan O'Brien

Updated: Saturday, 29 Jun 2013 11:39 | Comments

Most Improved was an impressive winner of the 2012 St James' Palace Stakes when trained by Brian Meehan
Most Improved was an impressive winner of the 2012 St James' Palace Stakes when trained by Brian Meehan

Aidan O'Brien expects Most Improved to live up to his name after he finished third behind stablemate Flying The Flag on his comeback run in the eFlow 'You First' International Stakes at the Curragh.

The Ballydoyle trainer felt the four-year-old, winner of the St James's Palace Stakes at Royal when with Brian Meehan, is sure to benefit from his first start for 251 days.

Most Improved was sent off the 5-4 favourite, but could never get in a blow for Joseph O'Brien in this four-runner Group Three heat over a mile and a quarter.

"He has been off a long time and he just got tired as he was entitled to do," said the trainer.

"I was very happy with the run, especially how he travelled during the race. Joseph said he won't mind going back in trip."

The Ballydoyle stable still came out on top as Flying The Flag (21-10) under Seamie Heffernan overtook the pace-setting Aloof in the final furlong to win by four lengths.

"I'm delighted with him. He's a mile and a quarter horse and fast ground is important to him. There was plenty of pace on and that suited him," said O'Brien.

The Vatican (5-2) overcame a 358-day absence to win for the O'Brien team on his second start when making all to hold Al Destoor by a length and three-quarters in the eFlow `Hassle Free' Maiden.

Said O'Brien: "He is a hardy, sound horse that handles fast ground well.

"He's been leading Battle Of Marengo at home and that's why you haven't seen him. He'll stay further."

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