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Camelot the Guineas king

Camelot maintained his unbeaten record with a thrilling victory in the Qipco 2000 Guineas at Newmarket for the Aidan O'Brien team.

Ante-post favourite ever since his brilliant win in the Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster in October, the son of Montjeu lived up to his lofty reputation in the colts' Classic in the hands of the trainer's son Joseph.

The field broke into three groups from the stalls with Camelot (15-8 favourite) towards the rear of the main section, and he weaved his way through the pack before digging deep to get the better of French Fifteen by a neck with Hermival, on the far side of the course, two and a quarter lengths away in third.

Joseph O'Brien said: "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.

"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."

O'Brien senior, winning the 2000 Guineas for a sixth time, added: "It's one of those unbelievable days. 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.

"We knew he was a very brilliant horse and that he had a lot of speed, but I was worried about the ground and Joseph said not to worry if, at halfway, he was closer to the back than the front. 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. I can't tell you how grateful and privileged I feel that Joseph has been allowed to ride him. I learned a lot from running St Nicholas Abbey in the Guineas two years ago."

On plans, O'Brien said: "It's like it always is. We will go home and the lads (owners) will talk about it and make a decision. We have lots to look forward to and we'll take it one race at a time You would imagine looking at him (that) the Derby would be a very suitable race for him."

Following an inquiry into why Camelot had paraded out of racecard order, O'Brien was fined £1,000 by the stewards, who ruled he had failed to put up his jockey until after the runners had started to leave the parade ring, thereby breaking the parade.


From Belfast Telegraph