Aidan O’Brien once again showed why he is considered by so many good judges to be the best racehorse trainer in the world at present when he land a sensational double on Saturday night in the US at Arlington racetrack in Chicago with the high-class pair of Treasure Beach and Cape Blanco, writes Elliot Slater.
The already legendary Irish handler sent just two horses to the eastern shores of the US and came home with a double, Irish Derby winner Treasure Beach (6/4f) getting the team off to the best possible start when producing a tenacious performance to get the better of French raider Ziyarid by a neck in the Grade 1 Secretariat Stakes under a tremendously powerful ride from Colm O’Donoghue who was seen at his very best to get the Galileo colt home by a neck, the pair drawing clear of third placed Banned, the best of the local contingent. Even those following the Grand National betting online would have been impressed.
An hour later it was the turn of Jamie Spencer and Cape Blanco (21/10f) to land the main event of the day the Grade 1 Arlington Million and the pair did not disappoint as they followed their recent victory in the US in Belmont’s Man O’War Stakes, once again coming home in splendid isolation ahead of the unfortunate Gio Ponti, the star American middle-distance performer who must now be sick of the sight of the outstanding Irish four-year-old. Hayley Turner, on board Michael Bell’s Wigmore Hall, had a good ride round to finish a staying-on fourth. Even punters looking for Cheltenham betting tips will know this was a decent performance.
Cape Blanco has now earned winning prize money of very nearly £600,000 for owners Fitri Hay and the Coolmore triumvirate and could head for more international currency if an audacious bid to tackle the Cox Plate at Flemington in Australia in October gets the go ahead, whilst Treasure Bid could return State side to tackle the Breeders’ Cup Turf a month later.