Saxon Warrior joined two classic pictures on Sunday when posting a 2 1/2-length victory in the Beresford Stakes (Ire-G2) at Naas Racecourse in Ireland.

The Beresford is not only an early lead-up to the Epsom Derby (Eng-G1) next year but also kicked off the European Road to the Kentucky Derby series . Unveiled this year for the 2018 Kentucky Derby, the seven-race series will award the highest points earner an automatic berth into next May’s classic 1 1/4-mile contest.

Saxon Warrior began the new series with his win in the Beresford for trainer Aidan O’Brien. Grabbing command on the far side, the Japanese-bred son of Deep Impact easily opened up under jockey Ryan Moore to finish a mile over the soft turf in 1:46.45.

Delano Roosevelt took second by a head in a three-horse photo for the runner-up spot. Warm the Voice filled the third spot, another head up on Kew Gardens in fourth. Riyazan completed the order under the wire.

Saxon Warrior is now two-for-two in his career, having broken his maiden at first asking on August 27 at the Curragh by 3 1/4 lengths. The bay colt, campaigned by Derrick Smith, Mrs. John Magnier and Michael Tabor, is out of the European champion and Irish highweight Galileo mare Maybe.