O’brien Expects Camelot To Stay
Sporting Life – O’brien Expects Camelot To Stay”>O’brien Expects Camelot To Stay
Sporting Life


Aidan O’Brien is confident QIPCO 2000 Guineas winner Camelot stay the mile-and-a-half trip in the Investec Derby at Epsom next month.

The son of Montjeu rounded off his juvenile campaign with a superb performance in the Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster and he made a winning return when coming from last to first in the season’s opening Classic at Newmarket.

Sea The Stars completed the Guineas-Derby double in 2009 and Camelot is odds-on with some bookmakers to follow suit as he steps up half a mile in trip.

“Being by Montjeu, you would have to be optimistic that he will stay, but there are also serious Danehill and Kingmambo traits in Camelot, and he has always been a horse with tremendous speed,” said O’Brien at a press open day.

“However, I have not seen anything to suggest that he will not stay the trip at Epsom, but we won’t find out until the day.”

The Ballydoyle handler admits his charge has other questions to answer, namely how he will handle Epsom’s undulations and if his nerves will stand up pre-race.

He said: “Epsom is a unique atmosphere and can get to many horses and while Camelot is a calm individual and very relaxed, like so many with such an explosive burst of acceleration he has lots of nervous energy, so we have to be careful with him, and he won’t do too much more work before the big day.

“I am a born worrier and so many things can wrong. There is the opposition and also the undulations, though he seemed to handle the dips well enough at Newmarket and he works regularly around our replica of Epsom, which includes our version of Tattenham Corner.

“Camelot has been a special horse from day one. We were very nervous before the Guineas, especially as we knew that Joseph was going to drop him out and ride him like a doubtful stayer.

“Joseph wanted him to learn at Newmarket, and what I liked was the way that Camelot came through the gaps between horses and put his head down and fought.

“Camelot has the looks, the pedigree and the presence, and he reminds’me of a dressage horse in that his movement is perfection.”

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