LAST year's Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf star Mendelssohn (evens favourite) made a winning return to action when beating stable companion Threeandfourpence by three-parts of a length in the Listed 32Red Patton Stakes over a mile at Dundalk.
Fellow Aidan O'Brien trainee Seahenge was another three and three-quarter lengths back in third and the winner, a $3 million half-brother to US champion Beholder, is now likely to head to Dubai for the UAE Derby.
"If everything is well with him we'll go on to Dubai," he said, "and if he runs a big race there we could well go on to the Kentucky Derby. He's a good traveller and there's plenty of dirt form in his pedigree."
Before racing began, O'Brien put a team of 10 horses through their paces, including Dubai-bound Lancaster Bomber and Idaho.
Ryan Moore, who partnered Mendelssohn to his listed race success, rode Lancaster Bomber and Donnacha O'Brien was aboard Idaho as they worked over 10 furlongs as part of their preparation for the Dubai Turf and Dubai Sheema Classic respectively at Meydan on March 31st.
War Decree and Deauville were also among those who exercised over a mile and a quarter, while sprinters Declaration Of Peace, Washington DC, Fleet Review and Intelligence Cross covered five furlongs.
"Idaho is in to go to Dubai in the mile-and-a-half (Sheema Classic) and Lancaster Bomber for the mile-and-a-furlong (Dubai Turf)," said O'Brien. "Obviously Idaho and Lancaster Bomber haven't run so this is to get an away day into them before they go away.
"The sprinters aren't in Dubai, if they got invited obviously they'd go but at the moment they aren't in. It's competitive over there and it's hard to get in.
"War Decree worked very well, but at the moment he's not in. If he was to run he'd probably run in the mile-and-a-furlong race. Deauville went well also, but he isn't invited at the moment."
O'Brien revealed he brought up the stable's own American-style stalls as part of the experience.
"If they go abroad they will be the stalls they are jumping and racing from. It's good experience for them," said the Ballydoyle handler.
"This is a great facility and it's great to have it. It's a lovely surface. That should bring them on a good bit and we're happy with what they've done."
READ THE FULL DUNDALK REPORT IN NEXT WEEKEND'S EDITION OF THE IRISH FIELD