In any other year, Camelot would be dominating the racing headlines as he bids to become the first horse since Nijinsky in 1971 to complete the triple crown of 2,000 Guineas, Epsom Derby and St Leger. It is hard to knock his credentials as things stand, unbeaten in five career outings, no problems on the stamina score, and the ability to act on any ground.
The only problem is the price. Unless you had a crystal ball 12 months ago and speculated early, anything less than a mortgage-size wager is not worth the effort. Mind you, he will hopefully not start as short as the 1897 winner Galtee More who returned prohibitive odds of 1/10!
So, what about the opposition? John Gosden may hold the key as he has already won the oldest Classic no less than four times, with Shantou in 1996, Lucarno in 2007, Arctic Cosmos in 2010, and Masked Marvel last year. William Buick has partnered the last two, so whatever he rides on the day has to be noted.
Gosden is likely to be double-handed at least, and will also use a pacemaker, with the pair of Thought Worthy and Michelangelo the two that are uppermost in his mind at present. Thought Worthy is of course a full-brother to the 2007 winner Lucarno, so has the right pedigree, and advertised his claims big style by capturing the Great Voltigeur, a time-honoured trial for the St Leger, at York in August.
With a pacemaker to help, Gosden will be happy in the knowledge that every ounce of stamina will be used, and of course 12 months ago his Masked Marvel broke the track record in a time of 3m 00.44 sec.
Three horses since the turn of the century have completed the Great Voltigeur and St Leger double in the same year, and Thought Worthy will not go down without a fight in his bids to join the list.
He beat Main Sequence by a neck at York, and strictly on the form book, has it to do with Camelot, as David Lanigan’s charge went down by five-lengths at Epsom, with Thought Worthy a further six-lengths behind. However, Gosden’s inmate turned the tables on the Knavesmire, so could be improving at a rate of knots, and from a value perspective, has to be worth bearing in mind.