Aiden O’Brien’s superstar colt Camelot added the Irish Derby Saturday
Aiden O’Brien’s superstar colt Camelot added the Irish Derby Saturday to his 2,000 Guineas and English Derby victories earlier this year.
Ridden by his trainer’s teenage son Joseph, the unbeaten son of Montjeu was doubtful for the showpiece Curragh clash because of the soft ground.
But O’Brien’s decision to run him paid off as he triumphed over Born To Sea.
Camelot stormed to success in the English Derby earlier this month to put him in contention to become the first horse since Nijinsky to capture the English ‘Triple Crown’ of Thoroughbred racing: the 2,000 Guineas, the Epsom Derby and the St Leger Stakes.
The legendary Nijinsky also won the Irish Derby en route to his historic treble in 1970.
Camelot eyes horse racing immortality
O’Brien’s gamble of running Camelot looked in doubt when Born To Sea mounted a strong challenge, but the colt dug deep to pull two lengths clear and give the trainer his seventh successive victory in the race.
Camelot is also the first horse since High Chaparral in 2002 to complete the Epsom-Curragh Derby double.
“We really felt it wasn’t the right thing (to run on this ground) but he’s a great horse,” O’Brien told gathered reporters.
“It doesn’t get any better than this. These are days you can’t dream of. He had the speed to win the Guineas, the class to win the Derby and then he had to have class, courage and stamina to win today.
“Obviously the lads will speak about the Triple Crown now, wouldn’t it be something to dream about?”
Bookmakers have already installed Camelot as a 1-3 favorite for the final leg of the Triple Crown at Doncaster.