Capri heads O’Brien assault on Criterium de Saint-Cloud


Capri: has shown good form on the track this season

  PICTURE: Patrick McCann (  

Preview: France, Sunday 2.45pm GMT (ATR)

Saint-Cloud: Criterium de Saint-Cloud (Group 1) 1m2f, 2yo colts fillies

ON what he has shown on the track Capri looks the stable number one by some distance from among Aidan O’Brien’s four runners as the trainer seeks to add to his 21 top-flight wins this year.

Since losing his maiden tag at the second attempt at Galway in July Capri has progressed in two subsequent starts, impressing when getting the better of stablemates Yucatan and Exemplar in the Beresford Stakes in testing ground at the Curragh.

Douglas Macarthur might be judged the main back up, though Wings Of Eagles may have improved for the experience gained in a Newmarket Listed race – in which the reopposing Cunco was second – while Taj Mahal is more speedily bred than his stablemates and might be required to ensure there is no false pace.

With only two French-trained runners the chances of a stop-start rhythm would seem remote, and the Irish contingent is further bolstered by Gowran maiden winner Rekindling.

Godolphin have won this prize twice recently – with Passion For Gold in 2009 and Mandaean in 2011 – and field a pair of improving colts in a bid for a third success.

Christophe Soumillon takes over from William Carson aboard Autumn Stakes winner Best Solution, while D’Bai showed soft ground holds no fears when landing Pontefract’s Listed Silver Tankard.

Qatar Racing are also two-handed with May Hill winner Rich Legacy and Warring States, who was purchased as a foal in Japan and comes here off a maiden win at Hoppergarten for Andreas Wohler.

Frankuus attempts to complete the same Prix de Conde-Criterium double as Robin Of Navan 12 months ago and faces his two nearest pursuers from that Group 3 success, Prinz Hlodowig and Waldgeist, a Galileo colt out of a half-sister to Masked Marvel who gives part-owners John Magnier and Michael Tabor a fifth interest in the race.  

What They Say
Aidan O’Brien, trainer of Capri, Taj Mahal, Wings Of Eagles and Douglas Macarthur
Capri hasn’t done an awful lot at home since his win in the Beresford but, on what he has done, he seems in good form and we’re happy with him. We think the step up in trip will suit Douglas Macarthur. Taj Mahal ran well at Leoapardstown last weekend. The furthest he’s gone before is a mile but he should handle the step up in trip. We’re happy with Wings Of Desire too.

Robert Havlin, rider of Cunco
He stayed very well last time and we think a lot of Coronet, the winner that day. He’s grown through the summer and physically he’s got stronger so we’re hoping for a good run. He’s got a lot better mentally too and, while he was still keen to post, he was a dream during the race last time. He goes in any ground. 

Saeed Bin Suroor, trainer of Best Solution
He’s a Group 3 winner on his most recent start and deserves a chance in a Group 1. He’s in good form and has continued to improve throughout the year. The trip should suit.

Charlie Appleby, trainer of D’Bai
D’bai is a Listed winner on soft ground and I feel he’s come on from his win at Pontefract. Stepping up in trip should suit, and he should run well.

Mark Johnston, trainer of Frankuus
He’s very well and has been in good form since Chantilly. This has been the main plan for some time. He seems to handle soft ground; I wouldn’t see that as a negative.

Mikel Delzangles, trainer of Prinz Hlodowig
He ran very well recently in the Prix de Conde and has come out the race well. The extra 200m won’t bother him and neither should the softer ground. It’s difficult to know how the race will unfold since it has more of the look of a race at Newmarket! 

Andreas Wohler, trainer of Warring States
He’s a talented horse and I like him, but this is very much a leap into the unknown.

Ralph Beckett, trainer of Rich Legacy
She’s in good shape. The draw in 12 could have perhaps been kinder but her style of racing and pedigree suggest the step up in trip should be no problem. I felt she sat too close to a very strong pace in the Fillies’ Mile and wasn’t able to finish the race off as a result. Soft ground is good news and I’d be confident she’ll run well.


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