Bondi Beach has continued his campaign towards the Ascot Gold Cup and Melbourne Cup with a Group Three victory at Navan.
But the four-year-old, part-owned by Australian Lloyd Williams, was made to work harder than his odds-on quote suggested to win Sunday’s Vintage Crop Stakes (2800m).
Last year’s St Leger runner-up had just two rivals and was anchored in the rear by Seamus Heffernan as Silwana led.
Toe The Line took it up early in the straight and appeared to be travelling better than the market leader, but Heffernan eventually coaxed Bondi Beach into putting his best foot forward and drove him out to a 1-1/2 length success.
“When he gets to the front he idles,” Joseph O’Brien, assistant to his father Aidan, said.
“He settled well and it was a very tactical race.”
Bondi Beach returned to Ireland after finishing unplaced in he 2015 Melbourne Cup.