UAE owned Al-Kazeem easily beat Camelot on Wednesday in the Prince of Wales’ Stakes, the feature race on day two of the Royal Ascot meeting, to underline the two-time classic winner’s decline.
Camelot won the 2,000 Guineas and the English Derby in 2012 but has faded since then, and only placed fourth here as 11-4 shot Al-Kazeem chased down Mukhadram to edge to victory by a neck.
“We will wait and see what happens next - he had a tough enough winter,” trainer Aidan O’Brien said of Camelot, who had a colic operation in October. “[Surgeons] will tell you that a big operation will take at least four months for the wound to heal.”
Camelot settled well in the race over one mile and two furlongs, but couldn’t catch the front two and slipped behind third-place The Fugue in the final few meters.
Al-Kazeem, who only raced once in 2012 because of injury, also beat Camelot at the Curragh last month and could now contest the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in France in October.
James Doyle, the jockey on Al-Kazeem, timed his finish to perfection as he reeled in the front-running Mukhadram, who had established a two-length lead as they rounded the bend.
“I had a bit of work to do but you have to believe in your horse - I have done nothing but win on this fellow. My confidence with him is amazing,” said Doyle, who claimed a first Royal Ascot winner.
“It leaves you speechless in some ways but this is what it is all about. All of those mornings, working hard, going to all of the evening meetings and all of the hard work that you put in. It does pay and it’s great when it does.”
The day got even better for Doyle, who also won the Royal Hunt Cup on 33-1 shot Belgian Bill before completing a hat trick of successes by riding Rizeena to victory in the Queen Mary Stakes.
Doyle needed to produce another late surge to land the Queen Mary, hunting down American horse Sweet Emma Rose and winning by two lengths.
“I’d have taken one but three is unbelievable – it’s a great day,” Doyle said. “It’s nice when it all comes together.”
UAE’s Al-Kazeem too strong for Camelot at Royal Ascot