The unbeaten Montjeu colt left it late under young jockey Joseph O’Brien, but the pair managed to cross the line in front of French Fifteen by just a neck, stretching the unbeaten run to three races.
There had been question marks over the Newmarket ground ahead of the 2012 renewal of the 2,000 Guineas, with further doom and gloom surrounding the record of Camelot’s sire Montjeu with three year old progeny over this trip. However, despite the negatives on the day, the long time antepost favourite for the 2,000 Guineas battled on and delivered a positive result, much to the delight of trainer Aidan O’Brien:
“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.”
At the start of the race, the 2000 Guineas field split into three groups, with Camelot held up towards the rear of the stands’s side. The colt seemed to travel well throughout, but did encounter some traffic towards the business end of the race.
Jockey Joseph O’Brien said of his 2,000 Guineas mount, “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.”
O’Brien Jr added, “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.”
As the winning post approached in the first Classic of the season, BetPal’s 2,000 Guineas fancy Hermival set sail for home on the far side but couldn’t quite hold on, eventually being collared by both French Fifteen and Camelot on the stands’ side.
Here is the 2012 2,000 Guineas result in full:
1st – #5 Camelot – 15/8 Fav
2nd – #9 French Fifteen (FR) – 12/1
3rd – #10 Hermival (IRE) – 16/1