Caponata shows class in Oaks trial for Weld
DERMOT Weld's fillies are in flying form this summer and his Caponata continued the purple patch by claiming last night's EBF Naas Oaks Trial.
The master of rosewell House struck with Princess Highway at Royal Ascot last week and Caponata looks another exciting prospect.
First-time blinkered Remember Alexander set a scorching tempo, but Pat Smullen was always travelling well aboard the Gowran Park maiden winner.
The victorious daughter of Selkirk took over from a quarter of a mile out and though Shebella tried to challenge, the 3/1 favourite stayed on well to win by two and three parts of a length.
"She'd been working very nicely and I was expecting her to win this more or less," Weld said. "I thought she put up a good performance and she's progressed nicely from her win at Gowran.
"She's entered in the Irish Oaks and I'll talk to Lord Grimthorpe. Pat was of the opinion that a mile and a quarter might be as far as she wants to go at the moment.
Taking a drop in class after finishing eighth in the Irish 2,000 Guineas, David Wachman's Alkazim finally broke his duck by landing the six-furlong maiden.
Never far from the pace under Wayne Lordan, the odds-on favourite quickened up nicely approaching the final furlong to comfortably beat Regal Power by three and a half lengths.
"He'll go back into Group company now," explained Wachman. "He's always shown loads of pace -- six, seven or a mile is no problem to him."
Lordan went on to record a 10/1 double when partnering Garvan Donnelly's Ningaloo Reef to victory in the seven-furlong handicap.
Favourite backers were out of luck in the opening juvenile contest as odds-on Nurpur enjoyed a nightmare passage behind Lightnin Hopkins, which made all under Gary Carroll. The Ger Lyons-trained gelding stuck on well to hold Strapless at bay, while Chris Hayes struggled to get a clear run on Nurpur, which finished a close-up fifth of the six runners.
"He's a typical one of ours in that he improved for the run," said Lyons. "He's a listed type of horse and he'll improve again for that."
Lyons and Carroll also doubled up when Boom To Bust took the one-mile handicap.
• Blue Article, co-owned by Leinster rugby captain Leo Cullen, got off the mark when dead-heating at Worcester yesterday.
The four-year-old filly -- having her first run in the care of Donald McCain -- had to settle for a share of the spoils with the David Pipe-trained newcomer Too Generous in the mares' bumper.
She looked like being a clear winner when Jason Maguire kicked on, but Too Generous got her second wind and joined the 5/2 favourite on the line.