Investec Blue Riband Trial
|Epsom Downs 14:45
1m 2f 17y, Class 2
|Wednesday 24th April 2019
1 Cape Of Good Hope 4/1
2 Cap Francais 5/1
3 Turgenev 11/4
7 ran Distances: ½l, ¾l, 6l
Time: 2m 6.28s (slow by 1.28s)
Cape Of Good Hope provided Ireland’s 20-time champion Flat trainer Aidan O’Brien with a first success in the Classic Trial.
Ridden by Ryan Moore, the three-year-old son of Galileo, the 2001 Derby winner, was settled in mid-division in the early stages of the 10-furlong contest as Massam (Mark Johnston/Franny Norton) and Sameem (James Tate/Oisin Murphy) set a strong pace at the head of affairs.
The front two came back towards the rest of the seven-runner field approaching Tattenham Corner with 4/1 chance Cape Of Good Hope making eye-catching headway entering the straight.
John Gosden tried to win the race for the fifth year in a row, and seventh time in total, with Turgenev (Frankie Dettori) who progressed to take the lead at the two-furlong pole, before O’Brien’s charge swept to the front well inside the final furlong.
Cape Of Good Hope had to hold off the late challenge of the Ed Walker-trained Cap Francais (Gerald Mosse, 5/1), who raced keenly, but made good headway from last to finish a half-length behind the winner in second.
Turgenev was a further three-quarters of a length back in third. The well-backed 9/4 favourite Arthur Kitt (Tom Dascombe/Richard Kingscote) stumbled badly leaving the stalls, nearly unseating the jockey and failed to trouble the leaders, finishing fifth.
The winner of today’s Investec Blue Riband Trial usually gains a wildcard entry into the G1 £1.5 million Investec Derby
, but Cape Of Good Hope had already been entered in Britain’s premier Classic and richest race.
The colt earned a quote for Investec Derby glory of 25/1 from Unibet
, official betting partner of the Investec Derby Festival.
Cape Of Good Hope, owned by a Coolmore partnership, is a full-brother to globetrotting superstar Highland Reel
, a seven-time G1 winner, who won the 2017 G1 Investec Coronation Cup
at Epsom Downs on his only outing at the course, and Idaho, who was third in the 2016 G1 Investec Derby behind Harzand
Second to Godolphin’s Quorto in the seven-furlong G2 Superlative Stakes at Newmarket in July, Cape Of Good Hope finished a creditable third in the G2 Royal Lodge Stakes
in September over a mile on his final start as a two-year-old and benefitted from today’s step up in trip.
O’Brien is the most successful current trainer in the 12-furlong Investec Derby with six victories, including Galileo.
Ed Walker, the Upper Lambourn-based trainer of the Frankel colt Cap Francais, said afterwards: “It was a very promising though frustrating start to the year for Cap Francais.
“It is annoying – he was silly in the preliminaries and gassy to post – yet he is so laid-back at home. I know what he was like last year so we took him to Kempton on a Thursday just to paddock school him and typically he behaved like an absolute lamb.
“Here he got himself a bit revved beforehand and went down a bit keen. I said to Gerald (Mosse – the jockey) that we ought to take our time today and not get involved until the business end. It is a long old season.
“When the horse was so fresh to post, Gerald thought he should anchor Cap Francais – he did absolutely the right thing and the horse came home really well. He just needed the Derby trip!
“He is not entered in the Investec Derby and it is really difficult to know what to do with him. Cap Francais is still an inexperienced horse and Gerald said he was learning on his feet.
“He will have learnt a lot coming around the bend today. He was hanging down the camber and then when he got straight and balanced, he was the winner all over with another half-furlong to run.
“It didn’t happen (winning and gaining a wildcard entry to the Investec Derby), so what do we do now?
“He did very well last year – slightly surprising us as he is so asleep at home. The question is whether we go for another Derby trial – he wants further so the Lingfield trial
(1m 3f 133y, May 11) would make sense.”
Gosden commented: “Turgenev did not seem to see the trip out, but I would like to try him once more over a mile and a quarter.
“He ran well and I thought he had the race at his mercy, but he did not quite see it out. Maybe he is just taking a little time coming to himself and we could have a look at Chester’s Dee Stakes
Investec Derby Trial
£50,000 added, 3yo only, 1m 2f 17y, Class 2
Going: Good, Good to Firm in places
||Cape Of Good Hope (IRE) 4/1
||R L Moore
|A P O'Brien
||Cap Francais 5/1
|J H M Gosden
||Mackaar (IRE) 11/1
||Arthur Kitt 9/4f
||Sameem (IRE) 9/1