Hemingway wins battle royal
Ernest Hemingway continued his progression with a hard-fought success in the Ballyroan Stakes at Leopardstown.
The Aidan O'Brien-trained four-year-old was a surprise 12-1 winner when last seen in the Curragh Cup but was the 11-8 favourite on this occasion.
Dropping back to a mile and a half, he again had his five-length Curragh victim Royal Diamond in opposition, with Johnny Murtagh's charge enjoying a 6lb pull in the weights.
Murtagh set out to make all on last year's Irish Leger winner and was still in front over a furlong out as Ernest Hemingway loomed large under Joseph O'Brien.
With Scintillula also in striking distance, it looked like Royal Diamond would be swallowed up, but that proved not to be the case as the gallant seven-year-old rallied to make the market leader work before asserting by half a length close home.
The winning rider said: "He relaxed really well, but he idled like mad going to the line. He's a progressive horse and the Irish Leger fits into his programme well.
"He stayed well and quickens up well. He's tough, he tries and handles quick ground - if it was quick ground he'd have to have a good chance."