Joseph O'Brien retains plenty of faith in Kingsbarns despite his eclipse on his seasonal return at Leopardstown on Wednesday.

The four-year-old won the Racing Post Trophy back in 2012 but injury issues ruled him out of a Classic campaign and he disappointed when returned to action in the Irish Champion Stakes last September.

However, his subsequent third in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot last October saw him stay in training for another year and Aidan O'Brien selected the Listed Heritage Stakes as his starting point in 2014.

He could finish only third behind Qewy, although O'Brien snr had warned he was far from primed for the one-mile event and his rider expects further improvement in time.

He said: "He travelled very well. He was a bit fresh early on. He just flattened one out on the ground. He's a very inexperienced horse and is a horse we are quite excited about."

Last year's Racing Post Trophy second Johann Strauss also suffered a surprise reverse on the card but O'Brien again anticipates better efforts as the season goes on.

"I was bit unlucky. He relaxed well. I had to switch out and he stayed on good. The better race, the better he'll be once the pace is upped," he said.