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    Dee Stakes was captured by Capulet and added to O'Brien's Derby lineup
Dee Stakes was captured by Capulet and added to O'Brien's Derby lineup
Capulet win at Chester. Source: limerickleader.ie

Dee Stakes was captured by Capulet and added to O'Brien's Derby lineup

Capulet won the Boodles Raindance Dee Stakes at Chester, giving Aidan O'Brien further strength in his Derby hand.

In his attempt to win the prestigious Classic at Epsom on June 1, the Ballydoyle handler will have no shortage of options, as City Of Troy appears to remain the stable's top choice despite his lacklustre performance in the 2000 Guineas the previous weekend.

Currently, there are a few more fighters in the mix, including Los Angeles, Diego Velazquez, and Henry Longfellow. Capulet entered the ring after giving his trainer a record-tying eleventh victory on the Roodee.

With Ryan Moore providing a characteristically smooth ride from the front, the 7-2 favourite gradually increased the pace and closed the gap on the 7-4 favourite Jayarebe at the home bend.

Bracken's Laugh, trained by Richard Hughes and the winner of an important all-weather race at Chelmsford last month, made a strong effort from farther back, but Capulet was not going to be passed this time and led by half a length at the finish.

Paul Smith, son of co-owner Derrick Smith, said: “That was very pleasing and I thought Ryan gave him a lovely ride. He appreciated the step up in trip, no doubt, he’s an uncomplicated horse, he travels well so I suppose it will be the French Derby or the English Derby. We know he gets 10 furlongs well and he’d probably get a mile and a half the way he runs so we’re delighted with him. We have the trials at the weekend and next week and Aidan will sit down with the lads and discuss the plan from there. He’s a Justify so it’s nice to see, we’re very pleased. Ryan was delighted, he said it was very uncomplicated, he got him into a nice rhythm, he’s a kind horse and stepping up in trip wouldn’t be a problem. He turned the form around with the second, but I think he really appreciated the step up in trip there.”

Capulet is already as short as 14-1 for Epsom, but backing for City of Troy, who is once again the favourite with some firms, is still coming in.

Smith said: “Aidan is happy with him and all roads now lead to the Derby with him.”

Back to Capulet, Moore said: “He was nicely drawn, there were only the four runners and he got into a nice rhythm and was able to build away. I was very happy with him, he came forward nicely from Chelmsford and the step up in trip has helped him. He’s a horse who had good form last year and with a bit of luck he’ll go on from here and improve again. I think the nicer ground and 10 furlongs suited him well, so there’ll be plenty of options for him now.”

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