1st July, 2012 - Posted by Elliot Slater - Comments Off
Aidan O’Brien maintained his vice-like grip on the Group 1 Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby, as he saddled the still unbeaten Camelot to a third success of the term, following on from his wins in the Qipco 2000 Guineas at Newmarket, and his highly impressive victory at Epsom, last month, in the Investec Derby, writes Elliot Slater.
According to the horse racing betting news, the Ballydoyle handler had been forced to think long and hard about whether to risk the son of Montjeu on the heavy ground at the Curragh.
However, in the end, his decision to allow the three-year-old to take his chance against just four rivals proved correct, as Joseph O’Brien’s mount saw off a spirited challenge from the gallant Born To Sea, to win the coveted prize for connections for a remarkable seventh successive year, and the tenth time since 1997.
In what was almost certainly a below-par renewal of the Group 1 mile-and-a-half contest, one that sadly failed to attract a single runner from outside the Emerald Isle, Camelot could do no more than continue his unbeaten run, and showed once again what a fine horse he is by overcoming unsuitably testing ground to leave himself on the brink of racing immortality.
He has almost certainly booked his place in the line-up for the Ladbrokes St Leger at Doncaster, in September, where a victory in the extended mile-and-three-quarter contest would see O’Brien’s colt become the first horse since the mighty Nijinsky in 1970 to win the Triple Crown.
The Curragh contest went exactly to plan, with Camelot’s stable companion, and Epsom Derby third, Astrology, setting the pace until fading three furlongs out, before the 1/5 favourite came through to hit the front.
For a moment, Johnny Murtagh and Born To Sea threatened to spoil the party, but Camelot found extra from the furlong pole, and stayed on to beat John Oxx’s charge by a cosy two-lengths.
The horse racing tips on Bet365 rate Camelot a general 1/3 chance to achieve sporting greatness at Town Moor, on September 15, although one or two firms are still prepared to offer 1/2.