O’Brien hopeful ahead of Camelot’s Derby bid

Updated: May 16, 2012

Aidan O’Brien isn’t a 100% sure that his Qipco 2000 Guineas winner Camelot will stay the 1m 4f of the Investec Derby but he is hopeful that the hugely talented colt will see out his biggest test to date on the first weekend of June.

Speaking at an open press day ahead of the Derby festival, O’Brien admitted that while Camelot has the class to win a Derby the unknown quantity is the trip, having shown impressive acceleration to land the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket a few weeks ago.

The champion trainer said ” Being by Montjeu, you would have to be optimistic that he will stay, but there are also serious Danehill and Kingmambo traits in Camelot, and he has always been a horse with tremendous speed. However, I have not seen anything to suggest that he will not stay the trip at Epsom, but we won’t find out until the day.”

As a son of Montjeu, the question of how Camelot will handle the occasion of Derby day is another imponderable, however O’Brien feels that his charge will cope just fine.

” Epsom is a unique atmosphere and can get to many horses and while Camelot is a calm individual and very relaxed, like so many with such an explosive burst of acceleration he has lots of nervous energy, so we have to be careful with him, and he won’t do too much more work before the big day.

“I am a born worrier and so many things can go wrong. There is the opposition and also the undulations, though he seemed to handle the dips well enough at Newmarket and he works regularly around our replica of Epsom, which includes our version of Tattenham Corner.

“He has the looks, the pedigree and the presence, and he reminds me of a dressage horse in that his movement is perfection.”

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