Russian Camelot shows SA Derby credentials

russian camelot
Russian Camelot’s SA Derby bid is back on track after his seven-length win at Pakenham.

Exciting three-year-old Russian Camelot has come through his effortless victory at Pakenham well and remains on target for the Group One South Australian Derby.

Trainer Danny O’Brien was forced to go to plan B and run Russian Camelot in a 1600m benchmark-64 on Thursday night after the colt played up in the barriers and had to be scratched at Caulfield last Saturday.

There were no such issues at Pakenham, with the northern hemisphere-bred Russian Camelot cruising home by seven lengths to notch his second win from four starts.

“We were thrilled with that,” O’Brien said.

“It was what we were hoping to see and he did everything right on the night which was great.

“He has pulled up really well so he’s on track to head to Adelaide for the Derby.

“He’ll have one more run before the Derby, either in the Chairman’s Stakes in Adelaide or in a race in Victoria.”

The South Australian Derby (2500m) is at Morphettville on May 9.

Damien Oliver has ridden Russian Camelot in three of his four starts including Pakenham, but O’Brien indicated he was unlikely to ride the colt in the Derby.

Oliver would have to spend two weeks in isolation in Adelaide before riding and another two when he returned to Victoria because of protocols regarding the coronavirus pandemic.

“I don’t think he will,” O’Brien said.

“It’s just too hard. He’s got to do two weeks there and then two weeks on the way back so it’s just a bit too difficult.”

O’Brien could claim a stakes race for staying three-year-olds at Caulfield on Saturday, with Coin Collector second favourite for the Listed Galilee Series Final (2400m) in which the trainer also has filly Lady Percy.

Coin Collector finished second to stablemate Skiddaw over 2200m at Bendigo last start.

“I think Coin Collector will be really hard to beat,” O’Brien said.

“He was terrific at Bendigo the other day and 2400 metres will be perfect for him.

“We think he’s well-placed tomorrow and hopefully in the VRC St Leger in two weeks time as well.

“Lady Percy is probably an each-way chance.”