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Camelot wins on return as Dawn Approach looks to follow in his footsteps

6 May 2013

Camelot, who had major surgery for colic last October, won on his return in Ireland today, while it was confirmed that Dawn Approach will head for the Investec Derby next, attempting to pull off the Guineas-Derby double achieved by Camelot in 2012.

Camelot at his Ballydoyle stables with jockey Joseph O’Brien. Image courtesy of racingfotos.com.

Camelot eased to a comfortable victory on his return to action at The Curragh this afternoon, with jockey Joseph O’Brien not having to resort to his whip as he pushed him out to win by a length and three-quarters.

Camelot won last year’s QIPCO 2000 Guineas and Investec Derby, followed by victory in the Irish Derby and an agonising defeat in the Ladbrokes St Leger which cost him the Triple Crown.

He ended the season with a disappointing run in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe and then nearly died of colic.

A delighted Aidan O’Brien, trainer of Camelot, said: "We’re delighted. He had massive colic surgery over the winter and it was his first time back so you’re never sure.

"It was major open surgery, and after the surgery is a massive time. He went to Coolmore and was not with us for months.

"I was surprised at the shape he was in when he came back – that surgery is massive and we are lucky to have him.

"He has the speed and the ability and Joseph said he’ll improve a lot fitness-wise and felt he was 70% fit today.

"The Tattersalls Gold Cup is the plan, you’d imagine there’s plenty of improvement.

"The plan was always to come here, the Tattersalls and the Prince Of Wales’s at Royal Ascot, but we’ll take it one race at a time."

Meanwhile it was also confirmed today that Dawn Approach will head to Epsom on 1 June to contest the Investec Derby, attempting to follow in Camelot’s footsteps and pull of the Guineas-Derby double.

His trianer, Jim Bolger, said today: "Dawn Approach has come out of the 2000 Guineas in excellent shape and I couldn’t be more pleased with him.

"I am now looking forward to running him in the Investec Derby at Epsom."

Godolphin racing manager Simon Crisford told www.godolphin.com: "It has been agreed that Dawn Approach should run in the Investec Derby on June 1.

"His temperament and demeanour are excellent and he relaxes in his races which means he has a better chance of seeing out the mile and a half."