Camelot (purple) learned a lot in the Guineas according to his trainer
Guineas experience could prove key to Camelot bid
INVESTEC Derby favourite Camelot's victory at Newmarket in the Qipco 2,000 Guineas will stand him in good stead at Epsom on June 2, his trainer Aidan O'Brien said on Monday.
O'Brien, entertaining the media at his Ballydoyle stables, said of the unbeaten colt, who is generally a shade of odds-on for the Derby but evens with Coral and Paddy Power: "We think he learned a lotin the Guineas, he settled and ran through the gaps and had to fight.
"Joseph [O'Brien] wanted to teach him a bit because we never had to ask him a lot at two, he won both his races very easily and hadn't been off the bridle or shown the stick or anything like that."
O'Brien has won the Derby twice, with Galileo and High Chaparral, though a decade has passed since High Chaparral beat stablemate Hawk Wing, and the trainer continued: "We haven't won the Investec Derby in a number of years so we are very used to coming home every year very humbled.
"You don't know about Epsom until you go there - you worry about everything including the day, the atmosphere and going to the start.
"Camelot behaved beautifully at the Guineas and is very relaxed and calm but, as you would expect with a horse with that explosive burst of speed, he does have a lot of nervous energy in there.
"I don't want to blow the horse up in any way but everyone can see he's a very good looking and good actioned horse and those horses are often too good to be true. The Investec Derby is one of those things I wouldn't even dream about because I'd be afraid to."
Joseph O'Brien: rides CamelotPICTURE: Patrick McCann
Speaking about the fact his son is set to ride Camelot, the trainer added: "It's been great for all of us, from the time Joseph has been able to walk he's been in the middle of it all here - both the good days and the bad days. He's a massive help for us and before he couldride out he was going in the Jeep with us."
O'Brien is still finalising his team for Epsom and concluded: "We've got a lot of different options there with the likes of Astrology, Imperial Monarch, maiden winners and Ernest Hemingway, who is a beautiful big horse. He will go for the Dante on Thursday if the ground is good or better but it is doubtful he'd go to Epsom if he misses York.
"Whether the boys would let all of them go to Epsom, I don't know. All these horses are bred and reared for Epsom and the Derby is the race that shapes the breed."
O'Brien could have three representatives in the Investec Oaks and added: "Maybe and Kissed will go straight for Epsom and we could look at the race for Was, who we might run at Naas on Thursday, as well. Wading didn't come right in the spring and I don't want to force her so I'd be surprised if she makes Epsom."