Capri lands Irish Derby for O’Brien and Heffernan

Trainer Aidan O'Brien, jockey Seamie Heffernan and David Hickey celebrate winning The Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby with Capri

Capri registered a minor surprise as he fended off Epsom hero Wings Of Eagles and Cracksman to win the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby at the Curragh.

Sent off a 6-1 shot, the grey Galileo colt was one of five runners for trainer Aidan O'Brien, with Ryan Moore opting to ride Wings Of Eagles.

That allowed Seamie Heffernan to take the mount on Capri, who proved most game in holding Cracksman in second, with Wings Of Eagles third.

Capri wins Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby #rtesport pic.twitter.com/B4jKGXKNV1

— RTÉ Sport (@RTEsport) July 1, 2017

With O'Brien running five, a strong pace was guaranteed and it was The Anvil who set the early gallop for the Coolmore team under Ana O'Brien.

With stablemates Douglas Macarthur and Taj Mahal also in pursuit, along with Capri, they appeared to have lined the race up for Wings Of Eagles turning for home.

However, Moore was pushing along from a fair way out, as was Pat Smullen aboard Cracksman, as they tried to reel Heffernan's mount back in.

Cracksman flew down the outside in the final furlong, with Wings Of Eagles between the two, but Capri, who finished sixth in the Derby at Epsom, dug deep to give Heffernan a third win in the race and O'Brien a 12th Irish Derby victory.

French raider Waldgeist did not enjoy the best of passages for trainer Andre Fabre and jockey Pierre-Charles Boudot and finished fourth.

Seamie Heffernan on his third Irish Derby success, on board Aidan O'Brien's Capri #rtesport pic.twitter.com/ZhABNBYo3h

— RTÉ Sport (@RTEsport) July 1, 2017

Gordon Elliott scored a notable Flat victory as Beckford claimed the GAIN Railway Stakes at the Curragh.

Elliott is famed for his jumping exploits, but the trainer has a smart team on the level this term, with Beckford leading the way after proving far too good in this Group Two heat.

British raider De Bruyne Horse disputed the early lead with Verbal Dexterity in the six-furlong heat, while Declan McDonogh was sat off the pace on the 11-2 victor.

Declan McDonogh on Beckford wins the race

Coming into the final couple of furlongs, De Bruyne Horse clearly began to toil as 6-4 favourite Murillo looked perfectly placed for Ryan Moore and Aidan O'Brien.

However, Beckford only really began to find his full stride inside the distance and when McDonogh asked him to change gear again, the Bated Breath colt responded in style.

He pushed on again leaving Verbal Dexterity a length behind in second, with Murillo a further length and a quarter back in third.

US Navy Flag sprang a minor surprise as he claimed the Dubai Duty Free Finest Surprise Irish EBF Maiden, the opening event of the day.

One of three runners for O'Brien, US Navy Flag appeared to be the stable second string judged on jockey bookings with Seamie Heffernan in the plate, while Ryan Moore teamed up with Battle Of Jericho.

However, Heffernan was positive from the off on the experienced 13-2 shot and though Dawn Delivers tried to go with him, US Navy Flag always had the measure of the 10-3 favourite, with stablemates Fleet Review and Battle Of Jericho third and fourth respectively.

Only Mine (evens) fended off the challenge of veteran performer Gordon Lord Byron to win the Dubai Duty Free Jumeirah Creekside Dash Stakes by a neck for trainer Joe Murphy.

True Valour (6-1) bounced back from defeat in the Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot by winning the Listed Dubai Duty Free Millennium Millionaire Celebration Stakes.

Johnny Murtagh's charge was beaten just over seven lengths in eighth behind Le Brivido in Berkshire but dropped in class, he duly obliged in the hands of Shane Foley.

Ger Lyons hit the crossbar with Sea Wolf in the previous race but Tony The Gent gave the handler swift compensation by winning the Dubai Duty Free Full Of Surprises Handicap.

Partnered by Colin Keane, Tony The Gent was sent off a 6-1 chance and he ran out a half-length winner over Mizaah with Aussie Valentine back in third.

O'Brien struck again with a stable second-string as Asking (8-1) won the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship Summer Fillies Handicap.

Moore was aboard Music Box in the seven-furlong event, but it was Ana O'Brien's mount who proved too good in the premier handicap.

Asking, who finished sixth in the Sandringham Handicap at Royal Ascot, raced just in behind the early leaders and when O'Brien gave her the signal to push on, Asking gamely answered the call to see off Honor Oak by half a length.

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