The Aidan O’Brien trained 2,000 Guineas winner Camelot has won the 2012 Derby Stakes at Epsom, in impressive fashion. The result means that Aidan and his 19 year old son Joseph O’Brien, who rode the colt to victory, have teamed up to become the first father and son combination to take the Epsom Classic, and Irish bookmakers Boylesports have installed the brilliant colt as a 1/3 shot to complete the Triple Crown later in the season.
Astrology, also trained by Aidan O’Brien and ridden by Ryan Moore, set a solid pace for his stablemate but despite this, still managed to finish third in the race. David Lanigan’s Main Sequence was the Derby runner up.
Camelot had been held up at the rear and loomed up menacingly in the home straight, but Astrology battled on keenly and for a moment, it looked as though Camelot would struggle to go by. But under a calm ride by teenage jockey Joseph O’Brien, the colt picked up brilliantly to win the Epsom Derby by a clear five lengths. Main Sequence ran on well too to pip the pacemaker by a short head, but neither horse had a chance with the winner.
Second favourite Bonfire was reported to have struggled with the downhill stretch of the mile and a half Epsom Derby trip, and finished a disappointing sixth in the race.
Aidan O’Brien has now saddled the winner of all four of Britain’s Classics, with Camelot providing his third Derby winner and his first since the great High Chaparral in 2002.
Owner Derek Smith confirmed after the race that Camelot is likely to head to Doncaster for the St Leger later in the year, in an attempt to complete the Triple Crown – a feat that hasn’t been been achieved since Nijinsky in 1970 (though Oh So Sharp did successfully complete the Fillies’ Triple Crown in 1985).
Boylesports have made Camelot a 1/3 chance to win the St Leger and round off racing’s Triple Crown.
The Derby winning jockey said of his mount Camelot after the race: “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. I owe a big thanks to the owners and everyone in the yard.”
Joseph O’Brien joins an elite club of teenage Derby winning jockeys that includes Lester Piggott, Walter Swinburn and last year’s winner on Pour Moi, Mickael Barzalona.
Here is the 2012 Epsom Derby Stakes result in full:
1st – 3 Camelot – 8/13 (Fav)
2nd – 5 Main Sequence (USA) – 9/1
3rd – 1 Astrology (IRE) – 13/2