Just five days before the eagerly anticipated Group 1 Ladbrokes St Leger, the gates of the Ballydoyle training centre in Ireland were thrown open to the media, where a chance was given for all lenses to be focused on Camelot, the horse bidding to become the first in 42 years to land the British Triple Crown, writes Elliot Slater.
Although no-one was allowed to get near the unbeaten son of Montjeu, as he went through his paces at a gentle gallop under his Japanese work rider, everyone concerned with the colt seemed happy.
However, trainer, Aidan O’Brien, confessed that his nerves are already starting to rattle, as the final countdown is well under way to the world’s oldest classic race, a contest that could see Camelot emulate another Ballydoyle great, Nijinsky, the last horse to win the 2000 Guineas, Epsom Derby, and St Leger, way back in 1970.
O’Brien observed that in having a horse capable of winning the one-mile six-and-a-half furlong St Leger you really need a thoroughbred who is all but a ‘Cup’ horse – a horse that stays two miles.
That is asking a lot of the three-year-old, who had enough pace to pick up some of Europe’s best performers over a mile at Newmarket in May, before blazing to a five-length win in the Investec Derby at Epsom four weeks later.
Camelot had a fairly hard race when beating Born to Sea on terrible ground in the Irish Derby at the Curragh at the end of June.
He has understandably been given a mid-season break since, but all reports suggest that the winner of all five career starts has been pleasing connections in his recent work and will go to Doncaster in tip-top shape.
He will bid to land St leger festival odds of 2/5 or shorter, and carve his own unique niche in racing history.
Follow the link for more updates on Camelot, as well as all the other horses attending this Saturday’s feature race.