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Camelot reigns supreme in the QIPCO 2000 Guineas

5 May 2012

Aidan O'Brien's star opened the QIPCO British Champions with a brilliant victory in the QIPCO 2000 Guineas, ridden to perfection by the trainer's 18-year-old son, Joseph.

Camelot basks in Guineas glory with his groom, jockey Joseph O’Brien, trainer Aidan O’Brien and part-owner Derrick Smith. Image courtesy of 

Camelot put up a fantastic performance that oozed class to win his trainer, Aidan O’Brien, a sixth 2000 Guineas and launch the 2012 QIPCO British Champions Series in style.

Ridden with supreme coolness and skill by Aidan’s eighteen-year-old son, Joseph, Camelot was held up towards the rear of the stands’ side group before cutting through the pack in the final two furlongs.

He collared French Fifteen, trained in France by Nicolas Clement, well inside the final furlong to win by a neck, with another challenger from France, Hermival, just over two lengths back in third.

"He has a lot of class and speed, I always felt I was getting there,” said the winning rider.

“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, said: "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.

"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.

"Obviously I learned a lot from running St Nicholas Abbey in the Guineas two years ago and it’s only now he’s getting the brilliance back he had at two."

On future 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."

The Investec Derby at Epsom is on Saturday 2 June. Before then we have several other enthralling Series races to look forward to – the QIPCO 1000 Guineas tomorrow, the Sportingbet Yorkshire Cup at York on Friday 18 May, the JLT Lockinge Stakes at Newbury on Saturday 19 May, in which Frankel will make his eagerly awaited reappearance, and the Temple Stakes at Haydock Park on Saturday 26 May.

Rod Street, Chief Executive of British Champions Series Ltd, said:

“Just like Frankel last year, I don’t think there’s any doubting that we’ve had another superstar to launch the QIPCO British Champions for 2012 to a big Newmarket crowd.

“He may have won by a much smaller margin than Frankel, but his class was there for all to see over a trip that’s likely to be a bare minimum for him this year.

"All eyes will be on the Investec Derby now, when Camelot should come into his own over the mile and a half trip, but before then we have a top class QIPCO 1000 Guineas to look forward to tomorrow and Frankel’s seasonal debut in the JLT Lockinge Stakes at Newbury in a fortnight.

"We look like having an awesome opening month to the 2012 Series."

To view the full race result, CLICK HERE