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Cape Blanco struggles on ground he hates.

Byline: Galileo EBF

CAPE BLANCO retained his unbeaten record by landing the Group 2 Galileo EBF Futurity Stakes at odds of 1-5 yesterday on ground Johnny Murtagh claimed the colt "hated".

Bookmaker reaction to the winner's all-the-way win in the 7f event was muted with Boylesports, Victor Chandler and William Hill leaving the son of Galileo unchanged at 16-1 for the 2,000 Guineas.

A Group 3 winner at Leopardstown on his previous start, Cape Blanco was well on top at the finish as he passed the post a length and a quarter clear of Mister Tee, but he looked anything but a long odds-on shot at one stage in the straight.

Murtagh said: "He hit a soft patch off the bend into the straight and when that happened it was a case of getting him balanced again and trying to win without being too hard on him.

"He hated the ground and is definitely a fast-ground horse. He has a great temperament and I like him."

For Aidan O'Brien it was a sixth victory in the Futurity in the past ten years. He has won the race with the likes of Giant's Causeway, Oratorio and Hawk Wing and Cape Blanco was his first winner of the event, which used to be run at the Curragh, since Horatio Nelson scored in 2005.

O'Brien, who was at Cork yesterday, said: "We knew that the ground would be against him. He's a colt with a lovely smooth action and really needs it good and quick.

"There are no definite plans for him for the rest of the season, but he's one who will be in the mix for the National Stakes at the Curragh next month."

Mister Tee fully justified trainer Ger Lyons's decision to run him by finishing second under Keagan Latham, while the Kevin Prendergast-trained King Ledley was one length back in third.

1 Cape Blanco ............1-5f 2 Mister Tee ..............16-1 3 King Ledley............10-1 Owner Derrick Smith Trainer Aidan O'Brien Jockey Johnny Murtagh Groom Neel Perera Breeder Jack Ronan and Des Vere Hunt Farm Distances 11/4l, 1l

FUTURITY WINNERS IN CLASSICS 2008 Arazan Did not run 2007 New Approach 2nd 2,000 Guineas 2,000 Irish 2,000 Guineas Won Derby 2006 Teofilo Did not run 2005 Horatio Nelson 8th 2,000 Guineas Pulled up Derby 2004 Oratorio 4th 2,000 Guineas 2nd Irish 2,000 Guineas 10th Derby 2003 Pearl Of Love Did not run 2002 Van Nistelrooy Did not run 2001 Hawk Wing 2nd 2,000 Guineas 2nd Derby 2000 Lady Lahar Did not run 1999 Giants Causeway 2nd 2,000 Guineas 2nd Irish 2,000 Guineas


Tony O'Hehir reports
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Aug 23, 2009
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