Cape Blanco winning the Arlington Million at Arlington Park
Cape Blanco winning the Arlington Million at Arlington Park

Click above to watch Cape Blanco winning the Arlington Million (G1)…

(Image : ESPN - Footage : Arlington)


Arlington Park, Turf, 2000m

13 August 2011

It was a great day for the Irish Saturday at Arlington Park, particularly if you were an Aidan O’Brien-trainedIrish Derby-winning son of Galileo (Ire). First 2011 Derby winner Treasure Beach (GB) (Galileo) won the GI Secretariat Stakes and then, an hour or so later, 2010 Classic winner Cape Blanco (Ire) (Galileo) swept to a 2 1/2-length victory in the GI Arlington Million Stakes. Cape Blanco, favored at 2-1, settled in a stalking fourth as Mission Approved (With Approval) took the field along through pedestrian fractions over the rain-soakened Arlington turf course. The Irish raider was asked for run turning for home, made a bold move to put his head in front in upper stretch and surged clear. Gio Ponti (Tale of the Cat) closed late for second, matching his finish in last year’s Million. “He’s a good tough horse and he’s brilliantly trained,” jockey Jamie Spencer said of the winner. “All I did was was do the steering. Aidan gave me my instructions and I rode accordingly.”

Cape Blanco, a two-time group winner during his undefeated juvenile campaign, parlayed a win in last year’s G1 Irish Derby into a strong runner-up effort behind Harbinger in the G1 King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes before storming home by 5 1/2 lengths in the G1 Irish Champion Stakes. This term, the chestnut colt took to the synthetics for a fourth-place effort in the G1 Dubai World Cup in March and was fourth again in the G1 Prix Ganay at Longchamp in April. He set sail for America after a sixth-place effort in the June 14 G1 Queen Anne Stakes and made a quick impact on these shores, defeating Gio Ponti by 2 1/4 lengths in the July 9 G1 Man O’War Stakes at Belmont Park. “I’m very pleased just to be able to ride the horse,” Spencer continued. “There are very few horses that have the will to win like he has. The more you ask from him, the more you get from him. He had loads left in the end.”

Cape Blanco won the Irish Derby and Irish Champion Stakes last term for owners Derrick Smith, Susan Magnier and Michael Tabor. Dubai socialite Fitri Hay joined the ownership group in March when she purchased a significant interest in the colt. Hay and her husband, Jim, own the UAE-based holding company JMH Group.

Extract from Thoroughbred Daily News