Sport Horse Racing

Thursday 16 August 2018

Derby hero to turn four into five for O'Brien

Aidan O'Brien
Aidan O'Brien

Johnny Ward

Aidan O'Brien believes stamina is Capri's main asset as the Irish Derby hero spearheads a four-strong Ballydoyle assault on the William Hill St Leger at Doncaster today.

O'Brien is bidding to make it four British Classics out of five this season, while he has also won the world's oldest Classic four times. His 2017 team also includes Venice Beach, Douglas Macarthur and The Anvil.

"Capri is a horse we always thought would stay further than a mile and a half and he's in good form," the champion trainer told At The Races.

"He had a break after the Irish Derby. We were playing with the idea of running him in the Voltigeur, but we knew that he would have a 5lb penalty and his scope wasn't 100pc, so we just decided to leave him.

"The Irish Derby very truly run. He was handy all the way, kicked and kept going. I don't think he was relenting at the line."

Chasing

Venice Beach joins him on the back of chasing home Cracksman in the Great Voltigeur Stakes at York, but Capri looks the one under Ryan Moore.

Meanwhile, trainer Michael Halford has announced he has parted company with stable jockey Shane Foley. Foley has been linked to the yard for over 10 years but will now be going freelance, with Halford using the best available.

"There's been no falling-out, we've just decided that Shane won't be automatic first choice and I'll be using the best available for the remainder of the season," Halford told his website. "I've spoken to all my owners and they are happy to go with that. Shane has been a great asset to us here and we've had some great days."

Foley said: "I've had a great run with Michael. I've ridden for him for over 10 years, but we had a chat last night and while I'm disappointed, there are lads out there a lot worse off than me."

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