Aidan O’Brien notched his 12th win in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby, as one of his five runners, Capri, held off the late thrust of English challenger Cracksman to take the Group 1 contest.
The Anvil set the pace from the outset with Seamie Heffernan adopting a handy position under Capri a few lengths off in second.
Meanwhile, the Epsom Derby first and third, Wings Of Eagles and Cracksman were held up in mid-division with Andre Fabre’s Waldgeist tracking them through.
Into the straight, Capri ranged up alongside his stablemate and took up the running with two furlongs to go.
Wings Of Eagles and Cracksman began their attempts for glory inside the final furlong and a half with Waldgeist making good headway too.
Still Capri held a narrow advantage and inside the final 100 yards pulled out more to secure a winning advantage of a neck from Cracksman at the winning line. His more fancied stable mate was a further short-head back in third.
“He’s a horse that we’ve always liked ever since he won his maiden at Galway,” reflected Heffernan.
“He’d been running very well in all the trials this year and listen the open space and the Flat track at Curragh. Aidan’s tend to improve little by little.”
For Heffernan, this victory registers as his third in the mile and a half feature. His first two came in successive years with Soldier Of Fortune and Frozen Fire in 2007 and 2008.
O’Brien said: “Seamie’s always a great believer in this horse and even after Epsom he had great belief.
“He’s the one that always believed in him. We know that he gets a mile and a half well and we know that he’s brave. Seamie had a lovely position through the race.”
He’s a horse that we’ve always liked
Earlier in the afternoon, Beckford made it two from two for trainer Gordon Elliot when running out a comfortable winner of the Group 2 Railway Stakes.
Purchased by Newtown Anner Stud Farm only days ago, the two-year-old son of Bated Breath raced in a good position throughout and travelled kindly under Declan McDonogh.
Once asked into the final two furlongs he picked up well and sealed the prize by a length.