Afonso De Sousa overcame a lengthy absence to take the last at Dundalk this evening, the Dundalk Stadium – Light Up Your Night Race, providing Aidan O’Brien with a double on the card (earlier scored with Red Rocks Point).
The successful three-year-old son of Henrythenavigator won his maiden at Leopardstown on his third start in July of 2012, and he then finished third of five to Dundonnell in the Acomb Stakes Gr.3 at York the following month.
Stepped up in trip to a mile and two for the first time, and having his first run since York, the bay colt was sent off a 2/1 chance having opened at 6/4 on-course.
Having raced mainly in second, he improved to lead entering the straight, and he kept on well under pressure to hold off the challenge of Dabadiyan (11/10 favourite), scoring by a length and a half at the line.
The runner-up was bidding for his fourth win in-a-row, but he couldn’t match the winner in the home straight, and he had to settle for second under Declan McDonogh for Mick Halford.
Joseph O’Brien said afterwards: “He is a lovely big horse. He was prepped to go to Dubai but he had a little setback and then he was ready in the middle part of the year but he had another setback.
“He is very genuine and he did another circuit as I couldn’t pull him up.”