History maker Russian Camelot (3c Camelot – Lady Babooshka, by Cape Cross) confirmed his status as one of the most exciting horses in Australasia when justifying favoritism in Saturday’s Group 1 Underwood Stakes at Caulfield.
The Danny O’Brien-trained colt became the first Northern Hemisphere bred horse to win an Australian Derby when taking the South Australian contest in May. Beaten a head last time out when dropped back to a mile, he was sent off favourite for his return over a furlong farther.
Damien Oliver rode the bay to chase the leaders and asserted in the straight, running out a comfortable winner by a length and three quarters from three-time Group 1 winner Humidor.
Danny O’Brien is no stranger to top-level success, having won the Caulfield Cup, Cox Plate and Melbourne Cup, but was evidently excited by his charge’s performance. “It’s really exciting to see him produce performances like this so early in his career,” he said. “There’s been a lot of hype around him, people are expecting things like this, so it’s really exciting to see him go out there and get it done. I think he’s the best horse I’ve had anything to do with, particularly to do so much so early in his career. He’s a magnificent colt and we’re thrilled that he’s got this done today.”
Owned by a partnership and bred by Lynch Bages and Camas Park Stud, Russian Camelot was bought by Jeremy Brummitt at Tattersalls as a yearling for 120,000gns. He is one of five individual Group 1 winners by Camelot, whose daughter Even So took the Irish Oaks earlier this season.
Seamie Heffernan was full of praise for Santa Barbara (2f Camelot – Senta’s Dream. By Danehill) after partnering the Aidan O’Brien-trained newcomer to success at the Curragh on Saturday.
Racing in midfield for much of the mile contest, the bay began to make headway from three furlongs out and led approaching the final furlong. Pushed clear inside the final furlong, the bay scored by two and a half lengths from Kailash (Mastercraftsman).
Heffernan later commented, “Santa Barbara could be the best out of the family, I won on both of her siblings. She’s top of my ratings.”
Heffernan’s comments speak volumes, with the Whisperview Trading-bred winner being a half-sister to multiple Group 1 winner Iridessa.
The fastest son of sire of sires Montjeu
An unbeaten G1 winning Champion 2yo with the speed to win a Guineas and the class and acceleration to win the Epsom Derby by 5 lengths, a run throughout which he stayed unbeaten.
Only the third horse since Nijinsky to land the Guineas/Derby double following Nashwan and Sea The Stars.
“He was the perfect racehorse, a beautiful horse with a terrific action. Speed, class and a super-intelligent horse to go with it – he had it all.” Aidan O’Brien
“going from strength to strength as a sire and he remains at €40,000 in 2020” International Thoroughbred, December 2019
A proven Gr.1 sire from his first crop! His top performers include…
- Latrobe – Gr.1 Irish Derby & Gr.3 Ballyroan Stakes winner. Runner-up in the Gr.1 Irish St Leger & Gr.1 Mackinnon Stakes
- Even So – impressive 2-length winner of the Gr.1 Irish Oaks at the Curragh for Ger Lyons
- Athena – winner of the Gr.1 Belmont Oaks & third in the Gr.1 Pretty Polly Stakes
- Wonderment – winner of the Gr.1 Criterium de Saint-Cloud
- Russian Camelot – made history when becoming the first ever Northern Hemisphere bred 3YO to win a Derby in Australia when landing the Gr.1 South Australian Derby. Winner of the Gr.1 Underwood Stakes & runner-up in the Gr.1 Makybe Diva Stakes
- Fighting Irish – 3-time winner including the Gr.2 Criterium de Maisons-Laffitte. Placed in the Gr.2 German 2,000 Guineas
- Hunting Horn – 3-time winner including the Gr.2 Moonee Valley Gold Cup & Gr.3 Hampton Court Stakes at Royal Ascot. Runner-up in the Gr.2 Prix Niel & third in the Gr.1 Belmont Derby
- King Of Leogrance – winner of the Gr.2 Adelaide Cup, Listed Prix Vulcain & Listed Roy Higgins Handicap
- Sir Dragonet – 8-length winner of the Gr.3 Chester Vase Stakes. Runner-up in the Gr.1 Tattersalls Gold Cup at the Curragh
- Pollara – dual winner including the Gr.3 Prix de Royaumont at Chantilly
- Accon – impressive winner of the Gr.3 German Derby Trial. Third in the Gr.1 German Derby
- Wait Forever – multiple winner including the Gr.3 Italian 2,000 Guineas, Gr.3 Premio del Giubileo, Listed Premio Pisa & Listed Premio Natale Di Roma
- Degraves – winner of the Gr.3 Eyrefield Stakes at Leopardstown
- Downdraft – winner of the Gr.3 Hotham Stakes, Listed Lenebane Stakes & Listed Her Majesty’s Plate. Runner-up in the Gr.2 Moonee Valley Gold Cup & Gr.3 Irish St Leger Trial Stakes
- Alounak – 4-time winner including the Gr.3 Preis der Sparkassen Finanzgruppe, Listed Junioren-Preis & Listed Grafenberger Derby Trial. Runner-up in the Gr.1 Canadian International, Gr.2 Prix Greffulhe & Gr.2 Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot
- Goddess – winner of the Gr.3 Snow Fairy Fillies Stakes & Listed Hurry Harriet Stakes. Runner-up in the Gr.2 Kilboy Estate Stakes & Gr.2 Blandford Stakes
- King’s Harlequin – winner of the Gr.3 Prix d’Aumale at Deauville & the Listed Prix Roland de Chambure at Longchamp for Nicholas Clement
- Skyward – winner of the Gr.3 Prix de Reux at Deauville & the Listed Prix Turenne at Saint-Cloud
Other black-type winners include Pink Dogwood, Arthur Kitt, Sir Eric, Lady Wannabe, Naturally High, Bolleville, Alexander James, Crown Towers, Sunny Queen, English King, Light My Fire, Current Option etc.