Russian Camelot’s unorthodox twist in new quest

Russian Camelot’s quest for South Australian Derby glory has taken an unexpected twist – an unlikely appearance in a Pakenham benchmark 64 on Thursday – following the colt’s barrier scratching at Caulfield on Saturday.

Trainer Danny O’Brien is leaning towards the 1600m restricted race at Pakenham after Russian Camelot was withdrawn from the Neds Handicap at Caulfield after becoming fractious and rearing following a starting gates malfunction.

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Racing Victoria stewards reported the import had suffered a minor abrasion above his right eye and O’Brien said the horse had taken no ill-effect from the incident.

“He’s good, there’s not a scratch on him,” O’Brien said.

“We’ll look to take him to Pakenham on Thursday because he just needs to go to the races and he needs the run.

“He also needs the experience of just going to the races.”

Russian Camelot (L), ridden by Damien Oliver, hits the track with 2019 Melbourne Cup winner Vow and Declare. Picture: Mark WilsonSource:News Corp Australia

If all goes well, Russian Camelot will eventually head to Morphettville for the May 9 SA Derby, where he could clash with Saturday’s runaway Port Adelaide Guineas winner Dalasan and O’Brien stablemate Skiddaw.

Skiddaw finished 10th of 11 in the AJC Derby at Randwick behind Quick Thinker but O’Brien believes little should be read into the performance.

“He got knocked down a couple of times,” O’Brien said.

“He’ll come home and potentially go to Adelaide for the Derby.”

O’Brien could also send Coin Collector west for the Derby, providing he runs well at Caulfield on Saturday and then in the VRC St Leger at Flemington on April 25.

Gifted filly Paradee could also join O’Brien’s Adelaide squad and target the Australasian Oaks after her sixth in the Group 3 Adrian Knox at Randwick behind Colette on Saturday.

O’Brien’s stable star Vow And Declare was on track to contest Saturday’s Group Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Randwick.

O’Brien said the Melbourne Cup winner, to be ridden by Glen Boss, was “super.”

Originally published asRussian Camelot’s unorthodox twist in new quest

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