Cape Blanco: Dual Group One winner at three

22 Mar 2012

Hard off the back of an unbeaten campaign of three runs at two years, inclusive of a Gr.2 & Gr.3 success, Cape Blanco continued on in the same vein at three, winning his season opener, the Dante Stakes-Gr.2 (10.5f) at York.


But there were bigger things to come, with the son of Galileo taking both the Irish Derby-Gr.1 (12f) and the Irish Champion Stakes-Gr.1 (10f) during a six run three-year-old campaign.


Johnny Murtagh chose Cape Blanco as his Derby ride and was duly rewarded when the chestnut produced a powerful staying performance to head home Midas Touch and Jan Vermeer.  It was a special moment for trainer Aidan O’Brien as it represented his fifth-straight Irish Derby.


The Irish Champion Stakes success was a display of absolute dominance.  Cape Blanco was taken straight to the front; applied the pressure with half-a-mile to run and simply ran them ragged, winning by five-and-a-half lengths with the highly-talented Rip Van Winkle doing the best of the rest.

Cape Blanco & Johnny Murtagh on top in the Irish Derby-Gr.1 (12f).  It was one of his five Group/Grade One victories in a 15 start career.