O’Brien hails special Camelot
Aidan O’Brien has ‘no idea what will happen’ when Camelot bids for the Triple Crown on Saturday but he knows everyone will have done their best regardless of the outcome.
It has been 32 years since Nijinsky became the last horse to win the British Triple Crown – the 2000 Guineas, Epsom Derby and St Leger, and Camelot can become only the 16th horse to complete the treble if he gallops to victory at Doncaster on Saturday.
Unsurprisingly, Camelot is the hot favourite to add the St Leger to his victories at Newmarket and Epsom but Saturday’s showpiece will be the first time he has attempted the one-mile-six-furlong trip.
The son of Montjeu has not run since being pushed all the way in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby at the Curragh as O’Brien decided not to give him a prep race, sidestepping the Great Voltigeur Stakes in favour of a racecourse gallop at Leopardstown.
All the signs from Ballydoyle have been positive but O’Brien is only too aware that anything can happen once the stalls open on Town Moor.
“We’ve had great horses all through the years and you always hope something different will come along again and then when he (Camelot) arrived it was just incredible,” O’Brien declared.
“He’s an incredible talent really. One of those very special horses, one that only comes once in a lifetime.
“I thought it (winning the 2000 Guineas) was impossible really, I have to take my hat off to the lads for trying it.
“He went there doing half-speeds and the lads were prepared to let him go there, it was a big call and he had an awful lot to lose. It was one of those special days.
“In the Irish Derby I was very worried as everything was against him – the ground and he hadn’t worked on grass since Epsom, so he hadn’t done a lot of work in that kind of ground.
“We gave him a good break and his weight started to increase, which was unusual. He will be heavier for the Leger than he has been going into any other race but with three-year-olds they often don’t change until later in the year.
“His body is built more like a miler in that he is round and strong as opposed to angular and lean. That is a little thing that would be in your mind.
“We are in the zone where you don’t want to talk about things – you just want to keep everything smooth.
“We think Camelot is like no other horse. Who knows what is going to happen? – we don’t take anything for granted. We will do our very best – it’s all we can do.”
Victory for Camelot would see O’Brien become the first trainer to saddle all five British Classic winners in a single season.by: Michelle, September 14, 2012