Flat season dawns with O'Brien firmly in saddle

 

Early days, but already it is hard to resist the promise of many excitements ahead. The very first winner of a new turf season on the Flat – which began in Ireland yesterday, and opens in Britain on Saturday – had the decided look of a Royal Ascot two-year-old. And it would be fairly astonishing if the various Ballydoyle three-year-olds who then stretched their legs, after racing at the Curragh, failed to muster a Classic between them.

Most luminous among these was Camelot, winter favourite for both the Qipco 2,000 Guineas and Investec Derby. While some will be sceptical about the substance of his exertions, the fact remains that this was only the third time Camelot has been seen on a racecourse and, with no fewer than 10 stablemates sharing his gallop, the first time he has had more than four horses for company.

While only their trainer, Aidan O'Brien, is qualified to know what each of his workers achieved, you could not fail to admire the way Camelot came gliding past the whole group in the closing stages of their exercise. His reputation at home has long been founded on speed and the mile of the Guineas, rather than the extra two furlongs of a Derby trial, surely beckons for his reappearance. Among the fillies, meanwhile, Wading would also appear to have wintered well – judged, however superficially, on her strong finish in another group of 11.

The first of the stable's putative Classic contenders actually to gallop in anger, Twirl, had earlier proved unable to land strong support in a Group Three race over a mile. But it was certainly no dishonour to be held by a mature rival, in Chrysanthemum, so early in the year – and, having targeted the big meeting in Dubai for a second year running, the presumption is that O'Brien has his team rather more forward than has sometimes been the case.

Though Ryan Moore rode Twirl, that was his solitary mount on the card, whereas Joseph O'Brien had five in all for his father. He will also replace Moore when So You Think contests the Dubai World Cup on Saturday. Though informed sources insisted last autumn that Moore intended to make Ballydoyle his priority, ultimately he appears to have maintained the status quo with Sir Michael Stoute. In confining himself to ad hoc availability, Moore may well find O'Brien Jnr receiving enviable reward for his performances last year on the likes of Camelot and St Nicholas Abbey.

O'Brien had saddled a fancied colt for the curtain-raiser, a valuable juvenile maiden, but was obliged to submit to his mentor, Jim Bolger, who ensured that his 2008 Derby winner, New Approach, landed running in his new career at stud. Dawn Approach, the young stallion's first representative on the racecourse, was sent off a well-backed favourite and it was soon evident why. "He's a very laid-back colt, a bit different to his old man," Bolger said. "And he'll improve a lot and when he goes up in trip."

Turf Account

Chris McGrath's Nap: Chac Du Cadran (4.30 Towcester)

Least exposed of these and has already proved well suited by this stiff track.

Next best: Song Of Joy (2.45 Lingfield)

Showed little in qualifying for a rating in juvenile maidens, but signs of ability tried in headgear for his first handicap on Kempton return.

One to watch: Melodic Rendezvous (Jeremy Scott) represents a yard that deserves a good horse and certainly looked like one when outclassing his rivals for a Chepstow bumper last week.

Where the money's going: Planteur, now with trainer Marco Botti, is 12-1 from 14-1 with William Hill for the Dubai World Cup on Saturday.

News
The surrealist comedian at the Q Awards in 2010
people
Life and Style
Six of the 76 Goats' cheese samples contained a significant amount of sheep's cheese
food + drink
News
Russell Brand arriving for the book launch in East London
peopleRussell Brand cancels his book launch debate due to concerns about the make-up of the panel
Arts and Entertainment
Contestants during this summer's Celebrity Big Brother grand finale
tvBroadcaster attempts to change its image following sale to US
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Julianne Moore and Ellen Page are starring together in civil rights drama Freeheld
film
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Dales attempts to sell British Breeze in the luxury scent task
tvReview: 'Apprentice' candidates on the verge of tears as they were ejected from the boardroom
Voices
New look: Zellweger at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
voicesRenée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity, says Amanda Hess
Arts and Entertainment
film

Marvel has released the first teaser trailer a week early after it leaked online

Extras
indybest
Life and Style
CHARGE BOOSTER: Aeroplane mode doesn't sound very exciting, but it can be a (phone) hacker's friend. Turning on the option while charging your mobile will increase the speed at which your phone battery charges
techNew book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone
Sport
Christiano Ronaldo enjoys his opening goal
champions leagueLiverpool 0 Real Madrid 3: Ronaldo and Benzema run Reds ragged to avenge thrashing from their last visit to Anfield
Arts and Entertainment
Awesome foursome: Sam Smith shows off his awards
music22-year-old confirms he is 2014’s breakout British music success
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Nicholas Serota has been a feature in the Power 100 top ten since its 2002 launch
art
News
Call me Superman: one of many unusual names chosen by Chinese students
newsChinese state TV offers advice for citizens picking a Western moniker
News
Wilko Johnson is currently on his farewell tour
people
News
Let’s pretend: KidZania in Tokyo
educationKidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day
News
i100
Voices
'Irritatingly Disneyfied': fashion vlogger Zoella
voicesVicky Chandler: Zoella shows us that feminism can come in all forms
Life and Style
health
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Health & Social CareTeacher - Full time and Part time

£90 - £140 per day + Mileage and Expenses: Randstad Education Leeds: Sixth for...

History Teacher

£95 - £105 per day: Randstad Education Plymouth: Randstad Education Plymouth i...

SQL Developer - Cardiff - £40,000

£30000 - £40000 per annum + benefits and bonus: Ashdown Group: SQL Developer -...

SQL Developer - Cardiff - £40,000

£30000 - £40000 per annum + benefits and bonus: Ashdown Group: SQL Developer ...

Day In a Page

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
The 10 best smartphone accessories

Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

Liverpool v Real Madrid

Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?