10/22/2011 12:43PM

Camelot much the best in Racing Post Trophy Stakes


Camelot, looking like the next stable star for trainer Aidan O’Brien, sparkled in his stakes debut Saturday at Doncaster in England, where he won the Group 1 Racing Post Trophy Stakes by 2 1/4 lengths.

England is all abuzz over changes in whip rules, but no such concerns arose in the Racing Post Trophy. Jockey Joseph O’Brien, Aidan’s son, had no use for his stick, with Camelot finishing powerfully of his own accord.

A son of Montjeu owned by the Coolmore operation, 2-year-old Camelot came into the Racing Post Trophy already the future-book favorite for the 2012 Epsom Derby, a race for which his odds now are as low as 3-1 with overseas betting houses. That’s a desperately short number for a race more than seven months away, but Camelot does look special. He won his only previous start, a maiden race on July 14 at Leopardstown, by two lengths and was priced at around even-money for Saturday’s tilt.

Racing last of five as O’Brien-trained pacemaker Learn towed the small group along, Camelot remained at the back of the field even as the tempo quickened significantly a quarter-mile from the finish of the straight-course mile. Waiting patiently, Joseph O’Brien steered a gentle course to the right, and with plenty of space between Zip Top and the inside fence, Camelot launched his final charge about three-sixteenths of a mile out. It did not take long for him to overhaul the leaders, and no one was any match for the winner in the last 150 yards. Zip Top managed to hold the place by a neck over Fencing, the John Gosden-trained second choice. Time for the mile on good going was 1:38.58.

Camelot earned about $210,000 from a total purse of just less than $370,000. He will not race again until next year.

Dettori handed seven-day ban

Frankie Dettori, one of only five jockeys to have won 10 or more Breeders’ Cup races, was handed a seven-day suspension for careless riding Saturday at Newbury that is scheduled to begin Nov. 5, the second day of the Breeders’ Cup meeting next month at Churchill Downs.

Dettori’s mount, Willing Foe, interfered with a horse named Right Step, whose rider, Harry Bentley, was thrown to the ground. Dettori had actually been scheduled to ride Saturday at Doncaster, but his mount in the Racing Post Trophy, Encke, was declared a non-runner.