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  • 15:10 Qipco 2000 Guineas Stakes 1m

  • (204th Running) (British Champions Series) (Group 1) £376,500 added 3yo 18 ran
  • Winner £213,513 2nd £80,948 3rd £40,511 4th £20,180
  • Going: Good to Soft
  • Surface: Turf
    Weighed In
  • Winning time: 1m 42.46s
  • Off time: 15:13:04

Legend of Camelot lives on

Guineas winner cut for Derby honours

Last Updated: 05/05/12 4:49pm

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Camelot: Lived up to the hype in winning the 2000 Guineas

Camelot: Lived up to the hype in winning the 2000 Guineas

Red-hot favourite Camelot swooped late to claim the QIPCO 2000 Guineas at Newmarket by a neck.

Aidan O'Brien had made no secret of his admiration for this son of the late Montjeu who had wowed racewatchers when winning the Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster last season.

The colt had been a short-priced favourite for this first Classic of the season ever since but he was relatively easy to back on the day with some uncertainty about the ground and statisticians pointing to his sire's poor record with three year olds over the trip.

However, Camelot overcame those negatives to pick off the challenge of French Fifteen and was duly cut to even money favourite by Sky Bet for next month's Investec Derby with Ladbrokes offering just 3-1 for the Triple Crown.

Held-up in midfield of the stands' side group by Joseph O'Brien, he always looked to be travelling comfortably enough but it did appear as though he could struggle to pick the pacesetters up.

Three Groups

However, the leaders of each of the three groups which were spread across the width of the famous Rowley Mile started to tread water on the stiff climb to the line as those from off the pace came through to do battle.

Nicolas Clement's French Fifteen threw down a strong challenge on the near side but just couldn't get past while fellow French raider Hermival made the best of his way home up the far side rail to finish just over two lengths back in third.

Trumpet Major was back in fourth, doing best of those to have raced up with the pace, with stablemate Coupe De Ville fifth.

Joseph O'Brien said: "He has a lot of class and speed, I always felt I was getting there. He got a bit tired in the last 100 yards on his first run (of the season) but hopefully he will come on for it.

"I didn't get the best run through, I was a long way back but he was very relaxed and will be much better going a bit further."

"I thought most of the good horses were drawn to my inside, a lot of the fancied ones, the majority anyway.

"We all discussed it and decided to let him relax and take it from there. He picked up very well from the two down to the furlong marker - he's a very good horse.

"To win a British Classic, especially the 2000 Guineas here on Camelot, is very special and a big thanks to everyone involved for giving me the opportunity."

Unbelievable Days

O'Brien senior, winning the race for a sixth time, said: "It's one of those unbelievable days.

"We knew from the statistics that Camelot had a lot against him, we knew he had a lot to overcome but we always thought he was very special.

"I was worried about the race and I'm glad I didn't say anything to Joseph.

"I'm delighted for everybody and all those who work with him every day. We are very lucky to have such a horse and many special people who look after him.

"Obviously I learned a lot from running St Nicholas Abbey in the Guineas two years ago and it's only now he's getting the brilliance back he had at two."

On future plans, O'Brien said: "It's like it always is. We will go home and the lads (owners) will talk about it and make a decision.

"We have lots to look forward to and we'll take it one race at a time

"You would imagine looking at him (that) the Derby would be a very suitable race for him."

"We will all get round the table and talk about it early next week. I imagine the Derby would be the race."

Exceptional Winner

Nicolas Clement, trainer of French Fifteen, said: "I'm delighted with that and the winner was exceptional.

"It's possible we could go for the French Derby or St James's Palace next."

Mikel Delzangles was thrilled with the effort of Hermival, as French-trained horses took the minor honours.

Delzangles said: "It's a pity he was on his own on that (far) side and he was in front very early.

"I can't complain, he ran a great race and the two in front of him are definitely good horses.

"It was only his third ever run so I hope he can improve. He's in the Irish Guineas and we will see about that."

Ground To Blame

Richard Hannon said of fourth-placed Trumpet Major: "Richard (Hughes) said the ground got him, he's run a good race but when he got into the dip he just got stuck in it - three out Richard said he thought he would win and I thought so too.

"I don't think I would run him on ground like that again and we will probably go to Ascot, which gives us six weeks for the St James's Palace but the ground would need to be right for him."

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