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Another Triple Crown bid gains pace

By Sue Montgomery

Whatever the fate of the 2,000 Guineas winner Camelot at Epsom in 12 days' time, and whatever his destiny afterwards, at least one Triple Crown dream is still alive.

Another Triple Crown bid gains pace Cap fits: Doug O'Neill’s I'll Have Another is chasing Triple CrownBY SUE MONTGOMERY

RACINGWHATEVER the fate of the 2,000 Guineas winner Camelot at Epsom in 12 days' time, and whatever his destiny afterwards, at least one Triple Crown dream is still alive.

The Kentucky Derby hero I'll Have Another followed up in the second leg of the US version, the Preakness Stakes, on Saturday night and is now bound for the third, next month's Belmont Stakes.

The two Classic trebles are very different, but elusive on whatever side of the Atlantic.

That in these parts involves the greater range of talent over a longer timespan — the Guineas over a mile at Newmarket in May, the Derby over 12 furlongs in June and the St Leger over a mile and three-quarters at Doncaster in September — and the last to succeed, Nijinsky in 1970, was also the last to try.

In the States, a horse has to win over three left-handed ovals in the space of six weeks — over 10 furlongs at Churchill Downs in Kentucky, over nine and a half at Pimlico in Maryland and then over 12 at Belmont Park in New York — and the concept is more fashionable.

The most recent to achieve the feat was Affirmed in 1978, but since then 11 have tried and failed.

In the Preakness Stakes, I'll Have Another provided something of a slap in the face to those critics who had suggested that his Kentucky Derby victory only came courtesy of the suicidal fractions set by trailblazing runner-up Bodemeister, whom he ran down close home under a cool ride from rookie Mario Gutierrez.

In the rematch, Mike Smith once again attempted to make all on Bodemeister, though at a more conservative pace, but the result was the same as once again Gutierrez swooped late, and perfectly, to score by a neck.

I'll Have Another, named for his Canadian-born owner Paul Reddam's reaction to his wife's home-baked biscuits, himself ate up heartily after his effort in Baltimore.

“He's licked his feed tub clean,” reported California-based trainer Doug O'Neill. “So bring on the Belmont.”

As a yearling, the son of then-unproven sire Flower Alley cost just $11,000. He has now earned $1.3 million.

Frankel was also given a clean bill of health yesterday after blitzing home in the Lockinge Stakes at Newbury on Saturday to take his career to a perfect 10 for 10.

Frankel will stick to a mile for his next target, the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot next month.

Belfast Telegraph

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