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Saturday, June 30, 2012
Aidan O’Brien has expressed concern about the likely heavy surface for Camelot in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby at the Curragh tonight, but it is still difficult to envisage defeat for a colt who is unbeaten in four races.
The fact he is by Montjeu is a massive plus and, on all known form, Camelot is simply head and shoulders over all other three-year-olds.
He hardly broke sweat when scoring twice last season and handled cut in the ground in style when beating French Fifteen by a neck in the English 2000 Guineas at Newmarket in May.
Camelot was then all the rage for the Epsom Derby and did the business with the minimum of fuss. Confidently handled by Joseph O’Brien, he came from off the pace to sweep clear from the furlong pole and beat Main Sequence by five lengths.
That was not a vintage renewal of the Epsom showpiece, but Camelot could only dismiss what was put in front of him and remains a horse of immense potential.
There is no problem finding fault with all six of his rivals and anything less than an emphatic success for the selection will be a big surprise.
And that will, hopefully, set him up to take on the older horses, when we will then discover his true worth.
John Oxx’s Sharestan gets the nap in the Listed Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship Celebration Stakes. He was less than impressive when scrambling home by half a length from Defining Year on this track last time, but going back two furlongs in trip now can see him in a far more favourable light.
It will be a mild, but delightful, surprise should Aidan O’Brien allow Pedro The Great and Cristoforo Colombo to cross swords in the Dubai Duty Free Railway Stakes.
Cristoforo Colombo, third to Dawn Approach in the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot, has a bright future, but is not guaranteed to handle the ground.
There are no such doubts regarding Pedro The Great, who slammed Jim Bolger’s well-regarded Wexford Opera in heavy ground at Leopardstown, and he is preferred.
At the Curragh tomorrow, David Wachman’s True Verdict gets the nap in the Group 3 Grangecon Stud Stakes for fillies. She made a real race of it with Richard Hannon’s Sky Lantern at Naas, going down by half a length, and this is easier.
Famous Name, who proved no match for So You Think at the Curragh last month, faces nothing of that calibre in the Friarstown Stud International Stakes.
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