Galileo's Capri Rises to the Challenge in Irish Derby
Mark Smith - Sunday, 2 July 2017

Epsom Derby hero Wings Of Eagles could do no better than third in Saturday's Group I Irish Derby at the Curragh but for the Coolmore connection, trainer Aidan O'Brien and super sire Galileo it was business as usual.

One of four runners in the race carrying the colours of Derrick Smith, Capri tracked his pacesetting stablemate The Anvil into the straight before taking command two furlongs from home.

Sixth in the Epsom equivalent four weeks back, Capri was set to an all drive by Seamus Heffernan but needed to dig deep when challenged by the fast-finishing Frankel colt Cracskman and Pour Moir's Wings Of Eagles.

The grey son of Galileo held on to win by a neck from Cracksman with Wings Of Eagles a nose back in third.  

Last season at two, Capri won the Group II Beresford Stakes and Listed Canford Cliffs Stakes before rounding out his juvenile year with a third in the Group I Criterium de Saint-Cloud.

"I was always a great believer in this horse, O'Brien told Sporting Life.

Even after Epsom, Seamus wanted to come here and ride him.

"We know that he gets a mile and a half and we know that he's brave. Seamus had a lovely position through the race.

"I thought Seamus gave him a brilliant ride. He paced it brilliantly. He had a target there and he knew the field was coming behind him but he timed it to perfection.

"What he did 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 (the pace) or not to follow it, and he knew all the fancied horses were behind him.

"It was a masterclass from him, really.

"Seamus has been a part of our family for over 20 years now. He is an amazing fellow - talented, dedicated, loyal and an unbelievable rider.

"We feel privileged and delighted to be working with him every day.

 "John (Magnier), Michael (Tabor) and Derrick (Smith) will have a talk about where he goes next.

"We were looking at Highland Reel for the King George and this horse has been busy so he might have a rest and we could think about an autumn campaign for him."

The son of Galileo is the best of three winners from as many runners out of the winning Anabaa mare Dialafara who is a daughter of the Group II Prix de Malleret winner Diamilna who was also runner-up in the Group I Prix Vermeille.

Dialafara (pictured) was culled by the Aga Khan at the Arqana breeding stock sale in 2010 with the successful bidder being Margaret O'Toole for a price of 175,000 euros. 

Her dam  Diamilna is a  daughter of Linamix,and is a sister to Group III Prix Cleopatre winner Diamonixa and a half-sister to Diamond Green (Green Desert) who won the Group III Prix La Rochette and placed in the Group 1 Poule d'Essai des Poulains, Group 1 Prix du Moulin de Longchamp and Group 1 St James's Palace Stakes.

Another sister to Diamilna is Dali's Grey, the dam of the gallant Bauer winner of the Group III Geelong Cup and heartbreakingly nosed out by Viewed in the 2008 Melbourne Cup. 

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