Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 16 April 2014

O’Brien won’t take gamble on Camelot in Arc

Camelot faces a crucial workout as trainer Aidan O'Brien insists he is looking “very strongly” at running his Classic hero in Sunday's Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.

The colt won the 2000 Guineas, Derby and Irish Derby earlier in the year only to have his Triple Crown bid scuppered by Godolphin's Encke in the St Leger at Doncaster last month.

A crack at the Longchamp feature looked unlikely in the aftermath of that defeat, but O'Brien is now giving serious thought to the 12-furlong autumn showpiece.

Camelot has been ridden by Joseph O'Brien on each of his six starts to date, but the jockey will not be able to make the required weight in France and is set to partner older stablemate St Nicholas Abbey instead.

O'Brien has yet to consider possible replacements aboard Camelot, with the Ballydoyle handler keen to see how the Montjeu colt fares in his work first.

“Obviously we're looking at it (the Arc) very strongly with the two big horses, Camelot and St Nicholas Abbey,” said Aidan.

“Both of them will do a little bit and if they come through that well, I think everybody will sit down and have a chat about it and we'll see what we're going to do.

“It would be great if both of them ran, but obviously they have to be well and they have to go through all their tests and pass all those things before they get the all clear, but we'd be looking forward to it if that could happen.”

Two key contenders were ruled out of the Arc on Tuesday with last year's winner Danedream and leading British contender Nathaniel confirmed as non-runners.