O'Brien's Camelot looking to complete classic hat-trick
SPECULATION THAT Camelot will ultimately go on to become the first English Triple Crown winner since Nijinsky could gather more momentum if Aidan O’Brien’s superstar follows in the hoof-prints of his legendary Ballydoyle predecessor at the Curragh on Saturday. Camelot is one of 11 colts remaining in the €1.25 million Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby after yesterday’s forfeit stage in which no overseas challenger was left in. Bookmakers immediately installed Camelot a red-hot odds-on favourite for a race in which he may face a trio of John Oxx runners as well as Speaking Of Which from Dermot Weld’s yard and Jim Bolger’s Light Heavy.
However, Ireland’s premier classic looks to be dominated by the one horse and victory on Saturday evening would complete a classic hat-trick only ever completed before by Nijinsky.
In 1970 Vincent O’Brien’s iconic colt won the Newmarket Guineas and Epsom Derby before easily winning at the Curragh under Liam Ward.
Camelot has already won the first two classics in England and is a 1 to 4 shot with Paddy Power to pull off the classic trio this weekend.
“It’s not impossible the English Derby hero could start at Black Caviar’s Ascot SP of 1 to 6,” the bookmaker spokesman said yesterday. That starting price would make Camelot the hottest Irish Derby favourite in modern history.
Aidan O’Brien has left in five other entries including Imperial Monarch, unlucky in running in the French Derby, and Astrology, third to Camelot at Epsom, but well beaten at Royal Ascot on Friday.
Ground conditions at the Curragh yesterday were “yielding to soft.”
Betting: 1/4 Camelot, 9 Imperial Monarch, 12 Speaking Of Which, 16 Light Heavy, Akeed Mofeed, 20 Astrology, Born To Sea, 25 Daddy Long Legs, Father Of Science, 50 Learn, 66 Call To Battle.
Ceol Rua the pick
PAT SMULLEN travels to Ballinrobe this evening where he teams up with Ceol Rua for Willie Mullins in the opening maiden.
Mullins advertised his flat-training credentials last week with Simenon’s Royal Ascot double and Ceol Rua brings some useful hurdles form to this task where she should be able to cope with the Tramore third Sword Of Honour.
Golden Acorn ran third to Romantic Stroll and Circle at Leopardstown five days ago and can gain a valuable winning bracket in the fillies maiden while a more fluent round of jumping than his Sligo hurdles debut could see Swampfire get the better of Chiltern Hills in the maiden hurdle.