Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby
Group 1, Curragh 17:20
€1,500,000 added,
3yo only, 1m, 4f   
Saturday 1st July 2017

1 Capri 6/1
2 Cracksman 3/1
3 Wings Of Eagles 2/1F
9 ran Distances: nk, shd, 1½l
Time: 2m 35.45s (slow by 4.95s)

Capri lands a glorious 12th Irish Derby for Aidan O'Brien

© Caroline Norris

All eyes were on stablemate and 2-1 favourite Wings Of Eagles, who was bidding to complete a Derby double following his Epsom victory last month and was the choice of Ryan Moore.

The John Gosden-trained Cracksman, third at Epsom, was another leading player for Pat Smullen along with Andre Fabre's Waldgeist, but all were trumped by Capri and Seamie Heffernan.

Sent off a 6-1 shot, the grey Galileo colt was one of five runners for O'Brien and after The Anvil had performed the early pacemaking duties, it appeared the race was perfectly lined up for Wings Of Eagles.

However, Capri got first run on them, kicking on around two furlongs from home, and while Cracksman and Wings Of Eagles finished with purpose, Heffernan's game partner won by a neck and a short head respectively.

Capri, who finished sixth in the Derby at Epsom, was giving Heffernan a third win in the race. 

The Ballydoyle handler said: "I was always a great believer in this horse. Even after Epsom, Seamus wanted to come here and ride him.

"We know that he gets a mile and a half and we know that he's brave. Seamus had a lovely position through the race.

"I thought Seamus gave him a brilliant ride. He paced it brilliantly. He had a target there and he knew the field was coming behind him but he timed it to perfection."


O'Brien was not too disappointed with the effort from Wings Of Eagles, but felt he had perhaps lacked stamina when it really mattered.

He added: "He ran very well and came there to go, but maybe a tough mile and a half might be as far as he wants to go - he might have just been outstayed.

"He showed a mile-and-a-quarter pace at Epsom, he came down, sprinted and finished off very quickly.

"He still ran very well - I thought they all ran great."

Capri is as low as 3-1 favourite to add to his Classic haul in the William Hill St Leger at Doncaster in September.

Heffernan said: "This horse has been competing in very good races all year and the Curragh suited him.

"I was always comfortable in my position and we went a good gallop. He galloped all the way to the line. He stays well and tries hard.

"At Epsom I was planning to be a little bit closer, but being the track it is, I didn't jump and couldn't be that bit closer.

"I had to move a little bit earlier than ideal and I still ran very well. It's great that he looks like he's improving.

"The Epsom Derby is the clash of the best around and what runs in that race usually split up and win the best races around."

© Racehorse Photos

Smullen, who was deputising for the injured Frankie Dettori, believes Cracksman can progress again for what was only his fourth racecourse start. 

He said: "He ran an excellent race. He got a little bit further back than we had planned but he never really travelled though the race and showed a lot of immaturity still. He's very babyish.

"It wasn't ideal to have to come around one in the straight but I just wasn't going well enough. To his credit, he got it together and stayed on very well to the line. 

"I thought when I got the better of Wings Of Eagles I had it, but the grey horse battled away well.

"He's run an excellent race. It's unfortunate he's got beat, but he's a horse that will only keep progressing from here on."

The Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby (Group 1)
€1,500,000 added, 3yo only, 1m 4f, Class 1
9 ran
Going: Yielding

Pos Dr D Horse SP Jockey Weight Trainer Age
1st (1) Capri (IRE) 6/1 J A Heffernan
A P O'Brien 3
2nd (7) nk Cracksman 3/1 P J Smullen
J H M Gosden 3
3rd (3) s.h Wings Of Eagles (FR) 2/1f R L Moore
A P O'Brien 3
4th (8) Waldgeist 3/1 P C Boudot
A Fabre 3
5th (6) Douglas Macarthur (IRE) 12/1 D O'Brien
A P O'Brien 3
6th (5) 3 Taj Mahal (IRE) 20/1 W M Lordan
A P O'Brien 3
7th (9) Dubai Sand (IRE) 100/1 K J Manning
J S Bolger 3
8th (2) 1 The Anvil (IRE) 66/1 Anastasia O'Brien
A P O'Brien 3
9th (4) Grandee (IRE) 33/1 C O'Donoghue
Mrs J Harrington 3

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