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Excelebration made the perfect start to life with the Aidan O’Brien stable when he easily won his seasonal debut at the Curragh.

A Group One winner for Newmarket-based Marco Botti but three times put in his place by the brilliant Frankel, Excelebration had no trouble taking the Big Bad Bob Gladness Stakes.

The 2-7 shot cruised past his pacemaking stablemate Windsor Palace just inside the final furlong (200m) in the hands of the trainer’s son, Joseph.

He pulled away fairly effortlessly to score by 3-1/4 lengths from Croisultan who stuck on to take second place.

“He’s lazy at home and we weren’t 100 per cent sure but he was doing well in his half-speed work with Joseph,” O’Brien said.

“Joseph rode him at the Curragh a month ago and was very happy with him. He said he gave him a proper feel, travelled very well and quickened very well. We’re looking forward to his next run now.”

Excelebration will now go for the Lockinge Stakes at Newbury on May 19 when he could face Frankel once more.

“The plan was to come here then go for the Lockinge if everything went well. I’d imagine that is what we’ll be looking at now,” O’Brien said.

“Everyone knows what Frankel is, an incredible horse. We’re delighted with the way this fellow ran and look forward to the next day.

“He was a very good horse last year. Physically he’s very well made. He’s done very well over the winter and you couldn’t be happier with his first run.”

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