Ten years after High Chaparral’s win in the Derby, Aidan O’Brien was back in the coveted Epsom winner’s enclosure following the stunning success of Camelot on Saturday. Victory was even sweeter for the O’Brien family as 19 year old Joseph steered the easy winner completing a Group 1 double for the talented teenager following the win of St Nicholas Abbey in the Coronation Cup. It was a text book victory for the son of the much lamented Montjeu. Camelot made his ground effortlessly from the rear and once asked for an effort over a furlong out he surged five lengths clear to beat Main Sequence who ran a cracker for David Lanigan. Lanigan is a native of Tipperary and grew up close to Coolmore Stud at Tullamaine Castle Stud which is owned by his father Bob. He has made a great start to the season from his new base at Kingsdown Stables in Lambourn. Camelot’s stable companion Astrology ran a fine race to be third, having made the running until a furlong from home. Camelot has so far emulated greats such as Sir Ivor, Nijinsky and more recently Sea The Stars by landing the 2,000 Guineas and the Derby but much of the post race talk was centred on a possible triple crown bid with the St Leger at Doncaster being the most probable target.
Camelot was owner Derrick Smith’s 100th Group 1 winner in his silks and his first Derby winner following a runner up three years in a row. He savoured every moment of the occasion and commented; “What a horse, what a ride. You could see from the three pole it was all over. The Triple Crown must be on the agenda, mustn’t it?” These thoughts were echoed by Coolmore boss John Magnier who said; “Camelot’s brilliance is there for everyone to see and we are fortunate to have anything to do with him, and it’s particularly important in the year his father (Montjeu) died.” When asked if he was tempted by a Triple Crown bid he replied; “Wouldn’t anybody?” Magnier added; “These things get to mean more as you get older, if you had asked me 30 years ago I might have looked the other way, but we will have to see what Derrick (Smith) and Michael (Tabor) say about it.”