Can Camelot Conquer Epsom?

A fine season for a son of Montjeu

Camelot, one of four English Derby winners sired by Montjeu, is having a fine season in 2024.

The four-time Gr1 winner has already been responsible for stakes winners in Britain, France, Ireland and Italy this year, with his runners enjoying a rich vein of success.

The majestic Camelot by Montjeu ex Tarfah

The majestic Camelot by Montjeu ex Tarfah (Pic – Coolmore)

Camelot daughters Bluestocking, Dare To Dream and Pensee Du Jour have won the Gr2 Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Middleton Fillies’ Stakes, Gr3 Al Shira’aa Racing Prix Vanteaux and Gr2 Prix Corrida, respectively this year.

Bluestocking, runner up in the 2023 Gr1 Juddmonte Irish Oaks, is now likely to target the Gr1 Cairn Pretty Polly Stakes with her paternal half-sister,Pensee Du Jour, likewise looking destined for bigger and better things.

Camelot sons have also had success in 2024 with his three-year-old Los Angeles (winner of last year’s Gr1 Criterium de Saint-Cloud) landing the Gr3 Cashel Palace Hotel Derby Trial Stakes at Leopardstown.

Another Camelot colt, Dancing Gemini, ran second, beaten just half a length, in the 2024 Gr1 Emirates Poule d’Essai des Poulains (French 2000 Guineas), with yet another son of the sire, Sevenna’s Knight, running out an eight length winner of the Gr3 Prix de Barbeville.

Camelot, sire of more than 60 stakes winners, will be looking for his first Betfred Derby success on Saturday when he looks set to be well represented in the Epsom classic.

Both Los Angeles and Dancing Gemini are likely runners in the 2024 Betfred Derby, with Camelot also sire of potential Derby runners Deira Mile and Defiance.

It is not the first time, however, that Camelot, winner of the Derby in 2012, will be responsible for a fancied English Derby contender. In 2019, Camelot’s Gr3 MBNA Chester Vase Stakes winning son Sir Dragonet was favoured to win the Gr1 Investec Derby but could only manage fifth, beaten just over three parts of a length by Anthony Van Dyck – ironically both Anthony Van Dyck and Sir Dragonet would die in training.

English King, Camelot’s Listed Betsafe Derby Trial winner of 2020, was sent off an 100-30 chance for the 2020 Investec Derby, but had to settle for fifth placing, beaten more than six lengths by shock winner Serpentine.

Camelot’s Derby luck did not change either when his top-class son Luxembourg was a well fancied runner for the 2022 Cazoo Derby only for muscular injury to prevail and prevent the colt from lining up in the Epsom classic.

However, while the Epsom version may have eluded his progeny thus far, Camelot has still enjoyed success in various Derbies. His son Latrobe was victorious in the 2018 Gr1 Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby, another son, Sammarco, captured the 2022 Gr1 IDEE 153rd Deutsches Derby and Camelot son Russian Camelot ran out an impressive winner of the 2020 Gr1 TAB South Australian Derby.

Inbreeding to Danehill has proved successful for Camelot, with his Gr1 winning offspring Luxembourg, Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, and Even So all inbred to the late, legendary stallion.

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