14 Feb 2011 | 19:15
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O'Brien plots Camelot campaignHeadlines
Camelot wins the Derby

Aidan O'Brien outlined 2013 plans for Camelot as the superstar colt was named Horse of the Year at the 10th annual Horse Racing Ireland Awards at Leopardstown.

The Coolmore-owned three-year-old became the first son of his late sire Montjeu to win a mile Classic when powering up the Newmarket hill to claim the 2000 Guineas, and he added the Investec Derby at Epsom to his laurels. Further glory awaited in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby at the Curragh.

Excitement was to reach fever pitch later in the season as he was aimed towards the St Leger at Doncaster in September, in a bid to become the first horse since Nijinsky in 1970 to capture the Triple Crown. Although Camelot came up just short, connections were rightly lauded for their bravery.

Success throughout the season was all the more special for the Camelot team as he was ridden by O'Brien's son Joseph, and he stays in training as a four-year-old, having made a full recovery from a bout of colic.

O'Brien snr said: "He's good. He had a colic, as everyone knows, but he's in great order now and back cantering. He's heavier now than he's ever been before. It looks like he's physically done well from three to four, so if everything goes well next year we'll look forward to him.

"We always felt his best trip was somewhere from a mile to a mile and a quarter, so he'll probably be campaigned that way.

"Hopefully he might start off at the Curragh in the Mooresbridge Stakes or one of those mile and a quarter races, then come to the Tattersalls (Gold Cup) and maybe have a look at (Royal) Ascot then. I think he'll be campaigned around a mile and a quarter."

He added: "He was always very different and everything about him was always very special. He's an unbelievable looking horse with unbelievable use of himself and great balance. We were glad we were able to mind him and not destroy him to stop him showing his real ability, but he's very natural.

"You always dream, most dreams don't happen, but we always felt if we didn't do the wrong things he had a massive chance of being very special."

O'Brien junior picked up the Flat award at the ceremony, with Davy Russell landing the National Hunt prize, while Flemenstar's trainer Peter Casey was recognised with the Outstanding Achievement award and Moyglare Stud the Contribution to the Industry prize. A new category for Racecourse of the Year went to Ballinrobe.

1 December 2015

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