The fabulous Galileo added another top-level winner to his staggering record on Saturday afternoon when the Aidan O’Brien-trained Capri (3c Galileo-Dialafara, by Anabaa) came home in front in the G1 Irish Derby.
Last year’s G2 Beresford Stakes hero was partnered by Seamie Heffernan as they kicked on two furlongs from home to see off Cracksman and give O’Brien a remarkable 12th victory in the Classic.
“This horse has been competing in very good races all year and the Curragh suited him. I was always comfortable in my position and we went a good gallop. He galloped all the way to the line. He stays well and tries hard,” said Heffernan.
“At Epsom I was planning to be a little bit closer, but being the track it is, I didn’t jump and couldn’t be that bit closer. I had to move earlier than ideal and I still ran very well. It’s great that he looks like he’s improving.”
O’Brien paid tribute to both Capri and Heffernan, a vital part of the Blalydoyle team for two decades.
“Seamus gave him a lovely ride, and had him in a lovely position throughout. He got the mile and a half really well,” said the trainer. “Seamus rode Capri in Epsom and he was very happy with him and looking forward to coming here with him. It’s the ultimate test over a mile and a half for a three-year-old colt.
“Seamus has been a part of our family for over 20 years now. He is an amazing fella — talented, dedicated, loyal and an unbelievable rider.
“What he did today wasn’t an easy thing to do. The pace was strong up front, and he was sitting right in the eye of the storm. He had a choice how close he followed it or not to follow it, and he knew all the fancied horses were behind him. It was a masterclass from him really.”