Camelot’s part owner Derrick Smith floated the idea of a shot at the Triple Crown of 2000 Guineas, Derby and St Leger shortly after the colt won the first Classic of the season on the Rowley Mile on Saturday. Smith said the idea would be up for discussion with partners Michael Tabor and Sue Magnier if Camelot wins at Epsom.
The Triple Crown is rarely attempted these days, and hasn’t been pulled off since Nijinsky, the last of 15 Triple Crown winners, took all three races in 1970. If Camelot were to achieve the feat, it would be an unusual case of succession planning, for, like Nijinsky, an O’Brien trains him at the Ballydoyle stables.
Smith said of the idea, “ I suppose we’re getting to the stage of our lives when it might be nice to say you owned a horse who won the Triple Crown.”
It’s likely to remain an unfulfilled dream, at least if Aidan O’Brien’s fellow trainers are right in their thinking. Most said they were not in favour of an autumn trip to Doncaster. Perhaps it’s not surprising to hear the French trainers say they would prefer to go for the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. Alain de Royer-Dupre highlighted the challenge to the horse of the Leger distance. “If I owned Camelot I would not be tempted at all to run him in the St Leger. It’s dangerous to go longer and very hard on the horse.”
Last year’s Derby winning trainer Andre Fabre felt the French race provided a better test, saying, “I wouldn’t run him in the St Leger but not just for commercial reasons. The Leger can be too much of a test. I prefer to match the best three year olds against the older horse sin the Arc.”
Newmarket trainer Gerard Butler, who had Camelot’s dam Tarfah in his stable, offered a different engagement. “It’s the owners decision in the end and reading between the lines these guys want to leave their stamp on turf history. I’d be more interested in going for the Irish Champion Stakes and the Arc and then I’d keep him in training as a four year old.”
It seems that everyone has an idea about Camelot’s future, but before any of these dreams have a chance of becoming true, there’s the small matter of the Derby at Epsom. Next month they could all have crumbled to dust.