Capri provides Ryan Moore with first victory in William Hill St Leger

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Stradivarius – 7-1 with Betfred, bet365 and Betvictor for Qipco Long Distance Cup

With four victories to his name prior to the start of the 2017 William Hill St Leger Irish trainer Aidan O’Brien is no stranger to winning the world’s oldest Classic, unlike Ryan Moore who had yet to add the extended 1m 6f stamina test to his impressive c.v. That was until shortly after 3.35 on Saturday afternoon when Capri became the first horse to win the Irish Derby and St Leger since the great Nijinsky back in 1970, providing Moore with win number one in the race run for the first time in 1776, and  a fifth for O’Brien.

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Ballydoyle were responsible for four of the eleven-strong field and set their stall out from an early stage with 66-1 outsider The Anvil making the running ( some would argue at a pace that prevented the horse from obtaining it’s best possible final placing ) from another long shot in Douglas McArthur with their ‘ second-string ‘ Venice Beach in third, ahead of 3-1 favourite Capri in fourth. Taking the race by the scruff of the neck meant that the powerful stable were unlikely to endure any possible hard luck stories, tactics which were executed to perfection as the Irish Derby winner took a narrow lead with three furlongs to go before staying on to record a hard-earned half length victory.

With the first three in the betting filling the first three placings the form is hard to fault, the only disappointing performance being that of the strongly-fancied Defoe who simply failed to show his best for whatever reason and was one of the first horses beaten. Time may show this to have been a well above average St Leger, just the shot in the arm the often criticised Classic needs, and 2018 bodes well for the main protagonists.

While runner-up Crystal Ocean has almost certainly run his last race of the present campaign next season is likely to see the son of Sea The Stars competing in the major Group 1 middle-distance contests. A short head back in third was Stradivarius with the Goodwood Cup winner proving himself more than just a talented stayer, although should the ground permit John Gosden’s colt to make the line up for Ascot’s Qipco Long Distance Cup next month the 7-1 currently available could prove a huge price come the day.

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Next stop for Capri however is surely the Arc for which the grey son of Galileo is a top price 20-1 with sportingbet and 32Red.

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