05/05/2012 1:13PM

Newmarket: Camelot rallies to Guineas victory for O'Brien


Trainer Aidan O’Brien scored the sixth English 2000 Guineas victory of his career with favored Camelot on Saturday at Newmarket, but this was the first O’Brien winner ridden by his son, 18-year-old Joseph.

Joseph O’Brien surely was on the right horse, with Camelot, a winner of both his starts at 2, having been heavily favored for Guineas success since it became apparent he was being pointed to the race. But the younger O’Brien turned in a strong performance himself, rallying his mount from near the back of an 18-horse field to get up by a neck over the French invader French Fifteen.

“I had half an idea of how Joseph was going to ride him,” O’Brien said. “He said to me that at the halfway he would be closer to the back than the front.”

The Guineas field, racing up a straight Rowley Mile course rated good to soft, separated into three groups shortly after the start, with five runners on the near side of the course, three in the middle, and the rest of the pack down at the far rails. It was in the third group that Camelot dwelt before beginning to weave through horses, bursting to the front in the final half-furlong in what appeared to be a very promising victory. French Fifteen had 2 1/2 lengths on another French horse, Hermival. Camelot, a son of Montjeu owned by the Coolmore operation, was timed in 1:42.46.

Camelot is bred to run longer distances, and his next start is likely to come next month in the Epsom Derby over one and one-half miles.

Frankel works sharply

Frankel, the undefeated European champion, did fast work with two companions on the Newmarket course on Saturday. Hard held in the early part of the exercise, Frankel passed his workmates in the blink of an eye when given his head, and finished the drill far, far ahead of the pair. Frankel is on target to make his 2012 debut May 19 in the Lockinge Stakes at Newbury.

◗ Breeders’ Cup Turf winner St Nicholas Abbey, a good second to Cirrus des Aigles on March 31 in the Dubai Sheema Classic, has an entry on Monday in the Group 3 Mooresbridge Stakes, a 1 1/2-mile race at the Curragh in Ireland.