Horse Racing

English Racing: Capri motors to St Leger, emulates Nijinsky

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

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LONDON, United Kingdom (AFP) - Capri delivered jockey Ryan Moore his first English St Leger on Saturday to become the first horse since the legendary Nijinsky in 1970 to achieve the Irish Derby/St Leger double.

Moore -- who was also completing a full house of English classic victories -- prevailed on the 3/1 favourite to give master Irish trainer Aidan O'Brien his fifth success in the oldest British Classic race.

Capri and Moore showed great resilience as they had to battle almost the whole way down the straight, first against the heavily backed Stradivarius, and then the fast-finishing Crystal Ocean.

Champion jockey Jim Crowley looked to have timed his challenge on Crystal Ocean perfectly just as Moore had seen off Stradivarius, but Capri found the reserves to hold off the 5/1 shot and deny venerable trainer Michael Stoute a second success in the race.

“He is a very good horse and very honest,” Moore told ITV.

“He dug in and fought very hard. He has done very little wrong in his career.”

Asked about completing the classic full house, Moore responded dryly: “I guess I'll have to do it all over again.”

Capri earned odds of 16/1 for adding Europe's most prestigious race, the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe next month -- though that proved beyond even Nijinsky, who finished second in the 1970 edition weeks after his exertions in the St Leger.

“Ryan gave him a class ride,” O'Brien told ITV.

“I can't tell you how delighted we are. Capri has a lot of class and is hugely brave.”

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