Capri has top billing in Vintage Crop

Dual Classic winner faces eight in Navan Group Three

  • Saturday 27 April
  • News
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Capri is the star attraction in the Sequence Events Vintage Crop Stakes at Navan.

Aidan O’Brien’s charge is a dual Classic winner, having taken the Irish Derby and the St Leger two years ago.

He made a winning start to last season in the Alleged Stakes at Naas, but did not run again until the autumn – when he performed with credit in both the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe and the Champion Stakes.

Capri failed to fire on his final appearance of 2018 in the Japan Cup, but is likely to prove hard to beat on his return.

O’Brien also saddles Southern France on Sunday as he bids to land this Group Three prize for the eighth time in 13 years. Former Ballydoyle winners include the mighty Yeats (2007 and 2008) and Fame And Glory (2011 and 2012), who both landed successive renewals.

This year, the one-mile-six-furlong contest is the sole Irish qualifier for the Weatherbys Hamilton Stayers’ Million, with a £1million bonus up for grabs for any horse who can go on to win the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot, the Goodwood Cup and the Lonsdale Cup at York – as Stradivarius did in 2018.

Joseph O’Brien has the improving Cimeara and Master Of Reality in the mix, while British hopes rest on Iain Jardine’s Scottish raider Nakeeta.

The latter won the Ebor at York and finished fifth in the Melbourne Cup in 2017, but failed to rediscover his very best form last season – most recently finishing 12th on his second tilt at the Flemington showpiece in November.

Jardine said: “He’s done a lot of work and he also had a wind operation during the winter, which we think has helped him a wee bit.

“He seems in good form. I know he’ll be wrong at the weights with a few of them – but he’d have to carry a lot of weight in handicaps, so there aren’t many alternatives.

“I’m told Navan is a nice, galloping track, which will suit him, and we’ve got a good rider (Ronan Whelan) – so I’m happy. I hope he’ll run a good race.”

Jessica Harrington’s Whirling Dervish and Jim Bolger’s Twilight Payment renew rivalry after finishing first and second in a conditions race at Gowran Park almost three weeks ago.

John Murphy’s Brazos and the Ger Lyons-trained Mustajeer complete the nine-strong field.

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