04/22/2012 1:41PM

Ireland: Excelebration cruises to victory in Gladness

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On paper, Excelebration appeared several cuts above his competition in the Group 3 Gladness Stakes on Sunday at the Curragh in Ireland, and that is how the race played out. Moving fluidly to the lead over one furlong from the finish of the seven-furlong race, Excelebration went on to an easy three-length victory while making his 4-year-old bow and first start under the care of trainer Aidan O’Brien.

Trained until this season by Marco Botti, Excelebration ranked among the top European milers of 2011, notching a Group 1 victory in the Prix Moulin de Longchamp last year, and given his performance Sunday, he seems poised for another successful campaign.

Excelebration, a son of Exceed and Excel, never has been any match for the champion Frankel, but might get another chance at him next month in the J.T. Lockinge Stakes. That race is a possible next stop for Excelebration, while Frankel will make his 2012 debut there provided he can be properly readied after missing several days training following a tendon injury scare two Wednesdays ago.