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Cape Blanco Wins US Gr1 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic

Tuesday, 4th October 2011

Former shuttler & Gr1 English Derby winner Galileo (Sadler's Wells-Urban Sea, by Miswaki) added a US Gr1 triumph when Irish-bred 4YO entire & last year’s Gr1 Irish Derby winner Cape Blanco (Galileo-Laurel Delight, by Presidium) notched his 3rd successive North American Gr1 win with victory by a nose in the US$500,000 Gr1 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational Stakes (12 furlongs on turf) at Belmont Park. Favourite Cape Blanco (ridden by Jamie Spencer for trainer Aidan O’Brien) defeated fellow 4YO entire Dean’s Kitten (Kitten's Joy-Summer Theatre, by Ide) with another 8.75-lengths back to 5YO entire Grassy (El Prado-High Savannah, by Rousillon). Cape Blanco was a €330,000 (A$452,000) yearling at Ireland’s 2008 Goffs Million Sale & took his record to 9 wins (also including August’s Gr1 Arlington Million over 10 furlongs at Arlington Park & July’s Gr1 Man O’ War Stakes over 11 furlongs at Belmont Park, plus 2010’s Gr1 Irish Derby over 12 furlongs at The Curragh, Gr1 Irish Champion Stakes over 10 furlongs at Leopardstown & UK Gr2 Dante Stakes over 10.5 furlongs at York, as well as 2009's Irish Gr2 Futurity Stakes over 7 furlongs at Fairyhouse & Irish Gr3 Tyros Stakes over 7 furlongs at Leopardstown) & a runner-up (in 2010’s UK Gr1 King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes over 12 furlongs at Ascot) from 14 starts for US$3,353,228 earnings. Unfortunately after the race trainer Aidan O’Brien confirmed Cape Blanco had sustained a “slab fracture of his knee” & will be retired to stud.

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