In three short months, Camelot’s three-year-old son, Downdraft, has gone from being a relatively obscure youngster in Joseph O’Brien’s 200 horse stable, to one of his most exciting racing prospects.
The win of the colt in the €50,000 3YO Handicap at Navan last Saturday not only confirmed Joseph’s opinion of the horse but also laid a foundation for the colt to climb greater heights during the balance of his three-year-old career. His next assignment is likely to be the King George Stakes at Royal Ascot, where, as a result of his new handicap of 96, he will have to give many of his competitors big weight advantages.
Although OTI and its partners are naturally keen to see the horse in Australia, they realise that Downdraft still has some exciting opportunities in Europe. There remain numerous Group 1 staying races for three-year-olds, the most important being the St Leger at Doncaster later in the year. Whether the horse then comes to Australia for a spring campaign will largely depend on his performances in the July and August as well as Joseph’s advice.
The 26-year-old Joseph O’Brien trains from his grandfather’s property in south Kilkenny. In the two years of his training career, he has established a reputation that his father Aiden, at the same age, would have envied. His training property is unique. It is situated on the side of a hill far from any racetrack or major city. Despite this, he seems to have no problem attracting old and young quality track riders to join his team.
If you would like to see more about Joseph O’Brien’s property, click on the video below that was captured by Terry Henderson when he visited the stable a month ago.