Capri (right) holds off his two stablemates to win the Beresford Stakes
PICTURE: Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos)
By Keith Melrose 3:25PM 25 SEP 2016
Report: Ireland, Sunday
Juddmonte Beresford Stakes (Group 2) 1m, 2yo
CAPRI got the better of a three-way battle between Ballydoyle stablemates as Aidan O’Brien won a 16th Beresford Stakes in the last 21 renewals.
O’Brien had four of the six runners that set off and three of them- Capri, Exemplar and Yucatan- had it between them from two furlongs out, with the trio putting plenty of distance between themselves and the rest in testing conditions.
Capri held the lead through the final furlong, but only really asserted in the final 50 yards. He beat Yucatan by a length with the same again back to third-placed Exemplar.
Jockey Ryan Moore said: “I was very happy with Capri and they’re all good horses. The three pulled a long way clear and I’d say they all have exciting futures. He travelled smoothly and picked up well. He’s a good prospect and at the moment he’s doing everything right.”
Trainer Aidan O’Brien said of his three: “We knew coming here that they were all nice horses and we had to run them to learn more about them.
“Capri had that bit more experience and Ryan liked him,” he added. “The other two kept coming at Capri and he kept finding. They’ve all run very well and they should all get a mile and a quarter and possibly a mile and a half.”
Of future targets, he said: “France next weekend is probably going to come a bit soon for them but we’ll have the Racing Post Trophy to consider for them.”
The Beresford Stakes has been won by the likes of Sea The Stars and St Nicholas Abbey in the recent past. Capri has now won his last three and was made 12-1 (from 20s) for next year’s Derby by Betfair and Coral.
Also on Sunday
Curragh: C L & M F Weld Park Stakes (Group 3) 7f, 2yo fillies
FAVOURITE Eziyra got back to winning ways by taking the Park Stakes at the Curragh for Dermot Weld and Pat Smullen.
Ridden close up in the main group on the near side, Eziyra was brought to the rail to challenge over a furlong out and soon extended to win by a comfortable length and three-quarters.
The winner has long been well regarded and has plenty of stamina in her pedigree. Her odds for the Oaks were duly cut to 20-1 with Paddy Power and Betfair.
Smullen said: “It’s tough going but she got through it well. I thought before the race that stands’ side was a little bit better and she’s uncomplicated. That was good and she has a tendency to swish her tail under pressure, but she kept on nicely.”
He added: “She’s a little temperamental and we put the hood on to keep the lid on her. She was in better humour today than the last day.”
Weld said of the race run in hounour of his parents: “It’s a long time since we won it and numerous good fillies have won it; you usually need a Classic filly to win it.”
He said of Eziyra: “This is not her ground at all and Pat’s biggest concern was the ground. She got through it better than I thought though. She’s a very good filly and she’s been totally genuine and consistent.
“Hopefully she’ll be around for the Irish 1,000 Guineas in the spring. She’s still immature in many ways and she’ll be a better filly for a winter.”
Curragh: Renaissance Stakes (Group 3) 6f, 3yo+
THE HAPPY PRINCE is in a happy place at the moment and he continued his good form with a smart win under Ryan Moore.
Having just been pipped by Breton Rock in the Park Stakes at Doncaster last time, The Happy Prince made no mistake this time as he shot clear inside the final quarter mile to win comfortably.
Trainer Aidan O’Brien said: “He’s plenty of racing done but he’s definitely improving and getting more straight-forward. His form used to be a bit in and out but now he seems to be really enjoying his racing.
“Ryan says he’d have no problem over five furlongs or going up in grade.”