Camelot’s Derby victory was the culmination of a special weekend for the Ballydoyle/Coolmore axis. It began in Epsom on Friday when Was (IRE) came out on top in the Oaks after a great battle with Shirocco Star and The Fugue. Given a great ride by Seamie Heffernan, the winner was only having her third run and belied her inexperience with a brave success. Explaining her absence from the track Aidan O’Brien commented; “A shoe off her work companion flew off and caught her above the knee. She had to have five stitches in her knee which delayed her back. She was just ready to start when she ran at Naas and ran a lovely race. The boys let her take her chance as she was such a well bred, good-looking filly and had progressed great in her work.” Was, a daughter of Galileo, cost £1.2m as a yearling and following her sale her breeder Seamus Burns of Lodge Park Stud described her as “the nicest he has ever bred.” This is some compliment considering Burns also bred Derby winner New Approach who is a half brother to Alluring Park, the dam of Was. It is a great achievement for a farm to breed both a Derby and an Oaks winner and the Burns family can look forward to offering a full sister to Was for sale this autumn.
The middle leg of Ballydoyle’s Group 1 treble was landed when St. Nicholas Abbey (IRE) spreadeagled the field in the Coronation Cup, coming home five lengths clear of Red Cadeaux. The son of Montjeu has now won four Group 1 races and displayed a similar impressive turn of foot that he showed in the Breeders Cup last year. All the season’s top middle distance races are open to the top class 5yo who was bred by Barton Bloodstock and Villiers Syndicate.