/ Racing

Camelot set up the mouthwatering prospect of a Triple Crown bid with victory in the Epsom Derby

Updated: Sunday, 03 Jun 2012 15:26 | Comments

Joseph O'Brien called Camelot a 'very special horse' Deserved pat: Jockey Joseph O'Brien gives Camelot a pat on the neck after the pair stormed clear to win the Derby
Joseph O'Brien called Camelot a 'very special horse' Deserved pat: Jockey Joseph O'Brien gives Camelot a pat on the neck after the pair stormed clear to win the Derby

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Camelot set up the mouthwatering prospect of a Triple Crown bid with a superb victory in the Investec Derby at Epsom.

Not since the mighty Nijinsky in 1970 has a colt won the 2000 Guineas, Derby and St Leger, but that could all change after Aidan O'Brien's 8-13 favourite completed two thirds of the magical treble in style.

The trainer's son, Joseph, 19, was happy to sit towards the rear for much of the mile-and-a-half journey, beginning to make headway on the outside of the field rounding the home turn.

For a moment it appeared his stablemate Astrology had stolen a march on his rivals, but Camelot mowed him down heading towards the final furlong and finished strongly to secure a five-length success.

The David Lanigan-trained Main Sequence narrowly denied O'Brien a one-two, getting up on the line to edge out Astrology.

O'Brien junior showed nerves of steel to hold on to his mount for so long, timing his run to perfection to secure his first Derby triumph.

It was a third win in the Epsom Classic for the Ballydoyle trainer, who has now saddled the winner of all four Classics run in Britain this season.

There did not appear to be too many hard-luck stories in behind, with leading fancy Bonfire seemingly failing to get home.

The winning jockey said: "I was a bit worried as he didn't come down the hill at all. He didn't handle the track that well, so he did well to win.

"He's a very special horse and I'm just very fortunate to be on his back."

Coolmore supremo John Magnier also indicated a trip to Doncaster for the Ladbrokes-sponsored Leger in September could be a strong possibility.

He said: "It (Camelot's brilliance) is there for everyone to see and we are fortunate to have anything to do with him, and it's particularly important in the year his father (Montjeu) died.

"We are going to have to take it race by race and give it lots of thought.

"Wouldn't anybody (be tempted by the Triple Crown)? These things get to mean more as you get older, if you had asked me 30 years ago I might have looked the other way, but we will have to see what Derrick (Smith) and Michael (Tabor) say about it."

O'Brien senior said: "You can't even dream of days like this.

"I was always happy, I know his (Joseph's) body language by now and he looked confident.

"No-one can describe the feeling, things like this don't happen.

"We'll give the Triple Crown a lot of thought and the boys will make a decision and do whatever is best for the horse.

"The Triple Crown would be incredible."

Anne-Marie O'Brien, wife of the trainer and Joseph's mother, said: "I can't believe it, it's amazing. I met Lester Piggott last weekend and he said to tell Joseph not to be in any hurry (in the race).

"I'm really thrilled, it's incredible."

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