Russian Camelot (3c Camelot – Lady Babooshka, by Cape Cross) became the first Northern Hemisphere-bred horse to win an Australian Derby when taking Saturday’s South Australian Derby worth $400,000.
The Danny O’Brien-trained colt was sent off favourite for the Morphetville feature, despite the six month age gap between the bay and his rivals, with another challenge posed by a step up in trip from a mile to an extended mile and a half. The bay was guided to a length and three quarter victory by Irishman John Allen, who was blown away by his mount’s performance, saying, “Obviously, he’s an exceptional horse. A lot’s been made of his preparation, but I think the bigger factor is he’s still six months younger than these horses. If he can beat them now, when he’s only just turned three, imagine what he can in six months or a year’s time.”
Speaking after the race, the winning trainer commented, “He’s been a very exciting horse, not just for us but for the public, since his very first start. We’ve had to do something that hasn’t been done before, take him to a Derby against the Australian three-year-olds. It’s weird in Australia but his father Camelot won the Epsom Derby second-up.”
As referenced by O’Brien, Russian Camelot echoes the impressive achievements of his sire Camelot, winner of the 2,000 Guineas, Epsom Derby and Irish Derby, following an unbeaten juvenile campaign. Russian Camelot was bred by Lynch Bages and Camas Park Stud, with the latter selling him at the Tattersalls Book 1 Sale to Jeremy Brummitt for 120,000gns.
Bred out of Lady Babooshka, he is bred on the same cross as Group 1-placed two-year-old Mythical, and on a similar cross to Grade 1 Belmont Oaks heroine Athena and dual Stakes winner Goddess. Russian Camelot becomes the fourth top flight winner by Camelot, who commands €40,000 at Coolmore Stud this season.
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