Aidan O'Brien speaks about Camelot's win in the Investec Derby
Aidan O'Brien speaks about Camelot's win in the Investec Derby

Click above to watch post Investec Derby interview with Aidan O’Brien…

(Image and Footage : Racing UK)


Epsom Downs, Turf, 2400m

2 June 2012

Derrick Smith’sCamelot (GB) (Montjeu), trainer Aidan O’Brien and jockey Joseph O’Brien had a weight of expectation on their shoulders entering Saturday’s G1 Investec Derby, but the 8-13 favorite and his 19-year-old rider proved impervious to the pressure when surging to an emphatic five-length victory. In doing so, the much-lauded bay completed the 2000 Guineas / Epsom Derby double and became the first horse to win this great race for a father-son trainer-jockey combination.

Settled with only one behind by his supremely confident rider early, Camelot had his positively ridden stable companion Astrology (Ire) (Galileo) to aim at in the straight and, after powering past with a furlong remaining, carried on into the clear, with Main Sequence (USA) (Aldebaran) denying a Ballydoyle one-two in the final stride. “He must be right up there with the best,” John Magnier commented. “It is there for everybody to see, and we are fortunate to have anything to do with him, particularly in the year that his father died, which makes it more important.” When asked whether he would like to attempt the Triple Crown, the Coolmore supremo answered, “Wouldn’t anybody? We are going to have to take it race-by-race and give it a lot of thought. These things get to mean more as you get older. If you had asked me the same question 20 years ago, I would have looked the other way, but we’ll have to see what Derrick Smith and Michael Tabor think about it. We are going through a good patch at the moment, so we just have to savor the moment.”

If there was any panic rising as he guided Camelot down the hill still several lengths adrift of Ryan Moore and Astrology, it was not apparent until he asked the crowd’s choice to chase hard from the three-furlong pole. Hanging down the camber as he closed down his barnmate, Camelot’s acceleration had carried him into a winning position by the furlong pole and his subsequent tour de force allowed connections and favorite-backers time to bask in the moment. “I was a bit worried, as he didn’t come down the hill at all and didn’t handle the track that well,” Joseph O’Brien explained. “He’s a very special horse and I’m just very fortunate to be on his back.” Derrick Smith, who was celebrating an apt 100th Group 1 winner, added, “It’s not a dream, because I could never have dreamt I would do it. This is the one everybody wants in racing and what a horse and what a ride. I suppose the Triple Crown must be on the agenda and we may get pressured into it, but we’ll sit down and talk about it and make the final decision.”

Aidan O’Brien paid his own tribute to the sport’s new talent. “He always looked special, but this is something you can’t really dream about,” he commented. “He’s one of those unusual horses who seems to be always finishing no matter what trip you run him over. He’s magical and that’s the only way I can describe him - he couldn’t be better named. He has a great constitution and the way he came back and stood relaxed in the winner’s enclosure afterwards, he’s very much in control. That he’s in such a place in his head with that ability, it is very unusual. We really fancied Ryan Moore’s horse, Astrology, and an awful lot of things could have happened, but Joseph wanted to come with a long sustained run. When a horse can give distance away and go up into those gears and still mow horses down like that, it’s incredible. I think he was only going away at the line and he has an awful lot of different options now.”

Extract from Thoroughbred Daily News