Moore completes set on classy Capri
Capri (right) ridden by Ryan Moore wins The William Hill St Leger Stakes, during day four of the William Hill St Leger Festival RYAN Moore completed the full set of British Classics in securing the William Hill St Leger on Capri at Doncaster.
Firmly established as one of the best jockeys in the world, Moore was at his best as he drove the Aidan O’Brientrained grey to a momentous victory over the persistent Crystal Ocean and Stradivarius.
The son of Galileo became the first horse since Triple Crown hero Nijinsky in 1970 to win both the Irish Derby and the St Leger, in his first race since his success at the Curragh 77 days earlier.
A setback had prevented Capri from having a prep run in the Great Voltigeur Stakes at York last month, but his class shone through in a race set up by the Ballydoyle battalion.
John Gosden’s Stradivarius looked a real threat on the far rail, but Capri (3-1 favourite) was already close to the pace and set sail for home inside the final quarter-mile.
Crystal Ocean, trained by Sir Michael Stoute, made a strong run from the rear, but Capri held the aces to score by half a length, with Stradivarius was just a shorthead away in third.
Moore said: “When Crystal Ocean came to him, he dug in. He’s done very little wrong in his career and has progressed from race to race.
“It was a really hard race, but he didn’t look like a horse who’d had a hard race. I just feel it was a very good Leger – in
Jockey Ryan Moore poses with the trophy after winning the William Hill St Leger Stakes on Capri normal years the first three would be worthy winners.
“He’s shown he stays well, but he’s an Irish Derby winner and that form looked very good. Everything had every chance, but he fought them off and was the best horse.”
On winning the race for the first time, he said: “It means you have to win it again, really.”
O’Brien, winning his fifth Leger, said: “We were all delighted with him. He had a little blip at York time (when he missed the Great Voltigeur). We were a little worried coming here, but Ryan gave him a class ride.
“We knew if we set a good pace for everyone we’d find out who the best horse was in the straight.
“He’s a horse with a lot of class, which we saw in the Irish Derby. When Ryan wanted it, he gave it to him.
“Seamus (Heffernan) rides him a lot at home and has always been a big believer in him. He always said he had class and that he would stay.
“Ryan had ridden him once before when winning the Beresford on him, but that was last season.
“I was a bit worried about that as well, but it all went great.”
He added: “As he had a blip at York we were worried coming here, but that he would improve a bit for the run.
“We had it in our heads that if all went well today and everything went well after he could run in the Arc.
“Obviously the lads (Coolmore) will decide what they want to do – run him again or put him away.
“He’s probably a mile-and-a-half horse with class, so he’d have no problem going a mile and a quarter.
“He has a great cruising speed and we always thought he had courage and stamina as well as class.”
Capri was cut to 20-1 from 25-1 for the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe with Paddy Power, and 16-1 from 20-1 with RaceBets.