Unbeaten in his first five starts, which included the 2,000 Guineas, and the English and Irish Derby in a golden Spring of 2012, Camelot tasted defeat for the first time at Doncaster in the St Leger, although he was in no way disgraced in finishing within a length of Encke. That showed once again just how difficult it is to take the Triple Crown.
Another defeat in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe brought his three-year-old season to an end, and a bout of colic last winter could have led to his retirement then. However, the owners decided to keep him in training, and the portents were promising when he returned in May this year to win a Group 3 race at the Curragh. He ran twice more, at the Curragh and Royal Ascot, finishing second and then fourth behind Al Kazeem, and after lengthy deliberation, the decision was reached that he should retire.
His trainer, Aidan O’Brien reflected on his charge, writing on the Coolmore website. “From the very first time we saw him at the sales we just loved him, He was the perfect racehorse, a beautiful horse with a terrific action. Speed, class, and a super intelligent horse to go with it – he had it all.”
But as with so many athletes, he was never the same after his illness. Unfortunately we never saw the same brilliance on the racecourse as we had done before his colic operation, but he was showing signs of it at home in recent weeks so it's obviously disappointing that he won't get the opportunity to run again."