Camelot emulates Nijinsky

Camelot captured a fourth G1 Irish Derby for deceased Coolmore champion Montjeu on Saturday.  He follows Hurricane Run, Frozen Fire and Fame And Glory on the classic’s roll-call.

Camelot (3c Montjeu – Tarfah by Kingmambo) became the first colt since Nijinsky to win the English 2000 Guineas plus the English – Irish Derby treble.  And Coolmore confirmed he will attempt Triple Crown glory in the English St Leger in September.

Montjeu won the 1999 Irish Derby but he’s some way off matching the Irish Derby record of his own sire Sadler’s Wells who was represented by six winners – Old Vic, Salsabil, Dream Well, Montjeu, Galileo and High Chaparral.

Montjeu, who died at Coolmore earlier this year at the age of 16, is the sire of 25 Group 1 winners including four Epsom Derby winners in Authorized, Motivator and Pour Moi in addition to Camelot.

Bought by Coolmore for 525,000gns from Highclere Stud at the 2010 Tattersalls October yearling sale, Camelot is one of two winners out of Dahlia Stakes winner Tarfah.

He was sent off a long odds-on favourite at the Curragh and was always travelling accordingly.  Committed at the 400m mark, he shook off Born to Sea and then stretched the margin to two lengths at the post.

“It’s incredible – we’ve been flooded and he hasn’t set foot on grass since Epsom Downs,” trainer Aidan O’Brien remarked.  “I thought we were swimming against the tide.  It was a massive call but he’s very special.”

Coolmore chief John Magnier left nobody in any doubt as to the regard he holds Camelot.  “We are looking for the next Sadler’s Wells,” he said.  “This horse has been tested all the way through at two and three and he’s battled on hard and soft footing.

“You have to have all those qualities and Sadler’s Wells did all those things, too.”