Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 26 July 2014

Cape leads O'Brien 1-2-3

Cape Blanco (right)

Cape Blanco led home a clean sweep for the Aidan O'Brien camp in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby at the Curragh.

Johnny Murtagh settled in fourth for most of the way on the 7-2 shot and moved up to challenge early in the straight when his stable companion Midas Touch took over in front.

Jan Vermeer joined in and the three Ballydoyle horses fought it out through the final furlong, with Cape Blanco asserting in the last 100 yards to score by half a length. Midas Touch took second, ahead of Jan Vermeer.

The winner had been impressive in the Dante Stakes at York when beating subsequent Epsom hero Workforce, but subsequently flopped in the French Derby.

O'Brien said: "Johnny gave him a brilliant ride. The last day in France was a blip and we couldn't understand it.

"Maybe it was the travel. It was his first day away and in the heat, something upset him and he wasn't the horse we know. He left that behind and showed all the courage and class we know he has.

"This is great for everybody and all the horses ran well. I'm delighted to be part of it."

A fascinating rematch with Workforce now looks on the cards in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot on July 24.

Asked about plans, O'Brien added: "We always thought if everything did go well today then we would look at the King George."

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