Capri’s dou­ble act

First horse since the great Ni­jin­sky to win both the Ir­ish Derby & St Leger

Sport360 - - Racing News - By Staff Re­porter @Sport360 ed­i­to­rial@sport360.com

Capri de­liv­ered jockey Ryan Moore his first English St Leger yes­ter­day to be­come the first horse since the leg­endary Ni­jin­sky in 1970 to achieve the Ir­ish Derby/St Leger dou­ble.

Moore – who was also com­plet­ing a full house of English clas­sic vic­to­ries – pre­vailed on the favourite to give master Ir­ish trainer Ai­dan O’Brien his fifth suc­cess in the old­est clas­sic race.

Capri and Moore showed great re­silience as they had to bat­tle al­most the whole way down the straight, first against the heav­ily backed Stradivarius, and then the fast-fin­ish­ing Crys­tal Ocean.

Cham­pion jockey Jim Crow­ley looked to have timed his chal­lenge on Crys­tal Ocean per­fectly just as Moore had seen off Stradivarius, but Capri found the re­serves to hold off the five-to-one shot and deny ven­er­a­ble trainer Michael Stoute a sec­ond suc­cess in the race.

“He is a very good horse and very hon­est,” Moore told ITV.

“He dug in and fought very hard. He has done very lit­tle wrong in his ca­reer.”

Asked about com­plet­ing the clas­sic full house, Moore re­sponded dryly: “I guess I’ll have to do it all over again.”

Capri is nar­row­ing for adding Europe’s most pres­ti­gious race, the Prix de l’Arc de Tri­om­phe next month — though that proved be­yond even Ni­jin­sky, who fin­ished sec­ond in the 1970 edi­tion weeks af­ter his ex­er­tions in the St Leger.

“Ryan gave him a class ride,” O’Brien told ITV.

“I can’t tell you how de­lighted we are. Capri has a lot of class and is hugely brave.”

In other rac­ing news, Spring Loaded fairly bolted to vic­tory for trainer Paul d’Arcy and jockey Joey Haynes in the Wil­liam Hill Port­land Hand­i­cap at Don­caster yes­ter­day.

The five-year-old drew right away form his 21 ri­vals in the fi­nal fur­long to turn the highly-com­pet­i­tive five-and-a-half-fur­long heat into a pro­ces­sion.

the field split into two groups, the near side clearly held sway from some way out and it was Spring Loaded who pro­duced a de­ci­sive turn of foot to put the race to bed.

Vi­brant Chords, the favourite, stayed on well for sec­ond but was beaten three and a half lengths, with Just another bot­tle another three-quar­ters of a length away in third and Lex­ing­ton Abbey a length fur­ther back in fourth.

Haynes was cel­e­brat­ing his big­gest ca­reer suc­cess to date, and said: “I’m ab­so­lutely de­lighted, a big thank you to Mr d’Arcy and the own­ers for let­ting me ride him, it’s bril­liant.

“We knew there would be a lot of pace on and it was al­ways go­ing to suit him. As soon as I asked him, he picked up. It felt good.”

“Capri has a lot of class and is hugely brave”

– O’Brien

In fa­mous foot­steps: Capri (grey, cen­tre) is the first horse to achieve the Ir­ish Derby/St Leger dou­ble since 1970.

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