Cape Of Good Hope boosted his chances of appearing in this year’s Investec Derby after giving trainer Aidan O’Brien his first victory in the Investec Blue Riband Trial Stakes at Epsom.
Twice placed at Group-race level last season, the son of Galileo, who is a full-brother to multiple Group One winner Highland Reel, made a triumphant return with victory in the mile-and-a-quarter Listed contest.
After being settled near the rear of the field early on by Ryan Moore, the 4-1 shot steadily worked his way into the race before forging on deep inside the final furlong, holding the fast-finishing Cap Francais by half a length.
As a result he was cut into 20-1 from 33-1 for the Derby by Paddy Power, while Coral introduced him at 40-1.
Coolmore’s UK representative Kevin Buckley said: “He brought probably some of the best form into the race from his performance in the Superlative behind Charlie’s (Appleby) horse (Quorto) and being third in the Royal Lodge.
“Coming here you never know what is going to happen, but it is good to get that experience around Epsom. He is a full-brother to Idaho and Highland Reel. Idaho was third in the Derby and Highland Reel won the Coronation Cup. The family has experience and success around here.
“I’m very pleased with that. Ryan said he settled nicely and there was a decent pace in the race. He responded well. We will see how he comes out of it. As Aidan has said openly, he was just ready to start. So he will get him home and see how he is.
“He is entered in the Derby and we will just have to see how these trials go and see what will happen for definite.
“It is not my position to say he is coming here, but on that performance you would like to think so.”
As for the runner-up, trainer Ed Walker is now considering whether to supplement him for the Epsom Classic on June 1.
He said: “Gerald (Mosse) loves him and he was just very fresh today.
“He was a bit like that last year and so we took him to Kempton for an away day and there was about four and a half people there and he behaved like a lamb.
“He came here today and was silly in the paddock, difficult to saddle and was just fresh.
“It is £85,000 to supplement him, so it is a lot of money. We might take in another trial and see what happens. Maybe he is not a horse for the Derby, but for another Derby, maybe Ireland.”