The career of the last Triple Crown winner, Nijinsky, ended in anticlimax with defeats in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe and the Champion Stakes for the previously unbeaten three-year-old in the autumn of 1970. The colt who has come closest to emulating him in the intervening years, Camelot, winner of the 2,000 Guineas and Derby in 2012 before being beaten three-quarters of a length in a St Leger which seemed his for the taking, has today been retired days short of a possible appearance in the Champion Stakes. It comes after a largely barren post-Classic campaign which included a lacklustre run in last year’s Arc and only a minor win at the Curragh in the spring before successive defeats behind Al Kazeem in the summer.
Derby (horse Race)
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Wednesday 22 August 2012
At such short odds, over a new trip, even a true great like Frankel can hardly appeal as a betting medium at York today. In fact, the Juddmonte International Stakes market is more likely to interest each-way "thieves", who will surely cover their money on St Nicholas Abbey. His two pacemakers should guarantee a sufficient test over the long Knavesmire straight for the Ballydoyle raider to outstay all bar the champion for a podium finish.
Thursday 26 July 2012
There is more for the history books at stake in this year's St Leger than a possible Triple Crown winner, the 16th in all and the first since Nijinsky in 1970. Yes, the 2,000 Guineas and Derby winner Camelot is odds-on favourite to complete his set at Doncaster in September. But victory would also make his trainer Aidan O'Brien the first of his profession to win all five English Classics in the same year.
Saturday 21 July 2012
One way or another, the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes has gradually lost its traditional role as a showdown between generations. With the Prix du Jockey Club nowadays reduced to a brawl with milers over an intermediate distance, French three-year-olds had to wait until last weekend for their Group One opportunity over a mile and a half; and the Derby winner, Camelot, has been the latest to be put away for the autumn, after following up in the Irish version. That leaves just one three-year-old prepared to take on his seniors at Ascot today – and he has come all the way from Tokyo to do so.
Thursday 19 July 2012
It is not just Yoshito Yahagi who has experienced transformation since he was last in Newmarket. At 51, he returns as trainer of the Japanese Derby winner, Deep Brillante, an audacious challenger for the Betfair King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot on Saturday. The colt is lodging with Clive Brittain, just over the road from Geoff Wragg's old yard – where Yahagi once worked as a humble stable lad. A broader metamorphosis, however, reflects more favourably on his homeland than on his hosts.
Tuesday 10 July 2012
Even before her scare at Ascot, Black Caviar's trainer had taken one look at the undulations of the July Course and abandoned any notion of sticking around for the Darley July Cup. Moonlight Cloud, who so nearly ruined the Australian champion's perfect record, is also safely out of the way, back in France. There is a tempting Group One opportunity, then, at Newmarket on Saturday – and two new hats were duly thrown into the ring yesterday.
Saturday 07 July 2012
Import can capitalise on opponents' flaws to take Sandown showcase on his British debut
Tuesday 26 June 2012
For the second time in four years, next Saturday evening's Irish Derby will be an entirely domestic affair. It is also only the second time in 56 years that there will be no overseas-trained challengers for Ireland's premier Flat prize. The reason can probably summed up by the words Aidan and O'Brien.
Wednesday 20 June 2012
He could not quite pull off the Derby itself last year, but his fulfilment – and the gratification of royalist punters – may prove to have been merely deferred. For Carlton House (3.45) has excellent prospects today of winning the monarch her first Group One race since 1977, another jubilee year, in the 150th running of the Prince of Wales's Stakes.
Monday 11 June 2012
It might have been a John Terry moment, but thankfully was not. Before the Belmont Stakes on Saturday night, the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner I'll Have Another, deprived of his chance of a Triple Crown on the eve of the New York race by a leg injury, was taken to the winner's circle anyhow for a ceremonial retirement.
Friday 08 June 2012
A sport said to be on its last legs in the US is desperate for I'll Have Another to do the treble tomorrow
Saturday 02 June 2012
It is not just premature to give Barzalona immediate parity with Dettori – it is folly
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