Camelot pleases in Curragh gallop

Camelot, the ante-post favourite for the 2000 Guineas and Derby, pleased Aidan O’Brien as he featured among a huge team of Ballydoyle horses to work after racing at the Curragh yesterday.

The unbeaten Racing Post Trophy winner was partnered by Joseph O’Brien in an 11-horse group that also featured stablemates Fame And Glory (Seamus Heffernan) and David Livingston (Ryan Moore).

Racing towards the back in the early stages over seven and a half furlongs, Camelot looked to stay on very nicely to finish second, firmly on the bridle.

The twice-raced son of Montjeu remains in the mix for the Qipco-sponsored Guineas at Newmarket on May 5.

O’Brien said: “He just cantered up in behind and Joseph seemed to be very happy with him. It’s lovely ground, he did seven and a half, they swang back nicely and did it all on the bridle.

“It was just a nice day away really, it makes the training a little bit easier.

“We can’t say that anything is definite for now. We’ll go home and talk about plans. Obviously he is a possible (for the Guineas) but it would be wrong to say any horse is a definite, they are possibles.

“Today was the most testing work he had done since the Racing Post Trophy and he seemed to come through it fine. He came from the back, finished nicely and was not asked a serious question.

“He is a possible without saying he is a definite.”

“I would say he’s a possible (for Newmarket), but it would be wrong to say likely. The plan was to keep coming along to see where we were and today was the most serious bit he was asked to do since the Racing Post Trophy.

“He seemed to do it fine, Joseph seemed to be happy but we haven’t quizzed him in-depth.

“He seemed to come from the back and finish nicely, so it is possible without saying definite and until it is all discussed with everybody those things are never made definite.”

Maybe, favourite for the 1000 Guineas and Oaks, also worked under O’Brien junior in an 11-horse group that included Moore on the well-touted Rockfel Stakes winner Wading and Pat Smullen on Kissed.

Maybe looked to go very well, as did Wading, and O’Brien said of the Moyglare Stud Stakes winner, who like Camelot is unbeaten: “She has done very well physically, it will be interesting to see what she is like when she comes home but she seems fine after today and we are very happy with where she is at the moment.

“Newmarket is the first possibility for all of these horses and over the next 10 days we will sit down and pick a target for all of them.

“Joseph was very happy with Maybe and so was Ryan with Wading, Pat was with Kissed as well, they all seemed to go fine.”

Nephrite, an unbeaten son of Pivotal and conqueror of Born To Sea in the Killavullan Stakes at Leopardstown in October, worked in the third group of O’Brien horses.

O’Brien junior rode the twice-raced three-year-old, with Moore on Middle Park Stakes third Reply.

Now in the care of O’Brien is Excelebration, who looks set to clash with old rival Frankel in the JLT Lockinge Stakes at Newbury on May 19.

Formerly trained by Marco Botti, the Exceed And Excel colt was four lengths behind Frankel in the Greenham Stakes at Newbury last season.

He then went on to claim the German Guineas before finishing third to Frankel in the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot.

After winning the Hungerford Stakes at Newbury, the Coolmore partners bought a significant share and Group One success came in the Prix du Moulin at Longchamp, before he found only Henry Cecil’s superstar too good in the QEII at Ascot.

Excelebration was in the fourth group of horses to work, again with O’Brien junior doing the steering. Moore partnered Coventry Stakes winner Power.

O’Brien said: “The obvious first target would be the Lockinge. We’ve never done anything with him and that was the first little bit he was asked to do. He seemed to track up there on the bridle.”

He added of Power: “Power missed a little time after Christmas but nothing major and he just followed them up there today. I was happy enough with what he did. I don’t think any of them disappointed and if they all come through OK it will have been a very good day. Newmarket are the first Classics so everything has to be considered for that and we will work from there.”

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