Irish Derby delight for Cape Blanco

CAPE Blanco got every yard of the mile and a half to give Aidan O'Brien a fifth successive victory in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby at the Curragh.

Johnny Murtagh's mount (7-2) had been impressive in the Dante Stakes at York when beating subsequent Epsom hero Workforce before flopping in the French Derby.

But he showed his Chantilly running to be all wrong as he got the better of a battle with stablemate Midas Touch from inside the two furlong pole to come out on top by half a length. Fellow Ballydoyle inmate Jan Vermeer was third, while the Mark Johnston-trained Monterosso kept on for fourth having been one of the first of the principals to be niggled along.

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O'Brien said: "Johnny gave him a brilliant ride. The last day in France was a blip and we couldn't understand it. Maybe it was the travel, it was his first day away and in the heat, something upset him and he wasn't the horse we know. He left that behind today and showed all his courage and class."

A fascinating rematch with Workforce at Ascot on July 24 now looks on the cards. O'Brien said: "We always thought if every did go well today then we would look at the King George."

William Hill priced up a match bet on the pair, going 4-9 Workforce and 13-8 Cape Blanco.

• Silvanus looks to be one of the sharper arrows reporting for duty at Musselburgh tonight. Paul Midgley's five-year-old won well at Carlisle last month but is still feasibly treated judged by his display at Wolverhampton. Despite having been saddled by a 6lb penalty, the Danehill Dancer gelding stayed on with a modicum of purpose to take second behind Pressed For Time.

Silvanus has, however, done all of his winning on fast ground on grass so should be in pole position to land a telling blow in the Matrix Handicap.

Paul Hanagan's return to the saddle – he did the steering at Carlisle – is also a huge positive.

• Donald McCain, the rising star of the jumping ranks, proved he can also train them on the level as Overturn landed the 175,000 John Smith's Northumberland Plate at Newcastle on Saturday. Eddie Ahern brought the 14-1 chance home in front in the two-mile feature, bouncing him out quickly, tacking him over to the inside rail and into the lead, then keeping up a relentless gallop to score by two and three-quarter lengths from Drunken Sailor.